Why it's done

Prostate laser surgery helps reduce urinary symptoms caused by BPH, including:

  • Frequent, urgent need to urinate
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Slow (prolonged) urination
  • Increased frequency of urination at night
  • Stopping and starting again while urinating
  • The feeling you can't completely empty your bladder
  • Urinary tract infections

Laser surgery might also be done to treat or prevent complications due to blocked urine flow, such as:

  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Kidney or bladder damage
  • Inability to control urination or an inability to urinate at all
  • Bladder stones
  • Blood in your urine

Laser surgery can offer several advantages over other methods of treating BPH, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and open prostatectomy. The advantages can include:

  • Lower risk of bleeding. Laser surgery can be a good option for men who take medication to thin their blood or who have a bleeding disorder that doesn't allow their blood to clot normally.
  • Shorter or no hospital stay. Laser surgery can be done on an outpatient basis or with just an overnight hospital stay.
  • Quicker recovery. Recovery from laser surgery generally takes less time than recovery from TURP or open surgery.
  • Less need for a catheter. Procedures to treat an enlarged prostate generally require use of a tube (catheter) to drain urine from the bladder after surgery. With laser surgery, a catheter is generally needed for less than 24 hours.
  • More-immediate results. Improvements in urinary symptoms from laser surgery are noticeable right away. It can take several weeks to months to see noticeable improvement with medications.
Jan. 25, 2017
References
  1. Cunningham GR, et al. Transurethral procedures for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  2. Wein AJ, et al., eds. Minimally invasive and endoscopic management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  3. Nair SM, et al. A review of laser treatment for symptomatic BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Current Urology Reports. 2016;17:45.
  4. Brunkhorst O, et al. Evaluation of the learning curve for holmium laser enucleation of the prostate using multiple outcome measures. Urology. 2015;86:824.
  5. Abdul-Muhsin H, et al. Analysis of benign prostatic hyperplasia patients' perspective through a third-party administered survey. Urology. 2016;88:155.
  6. Jaeger CD, et al. Holmium laser enucleation (HoLEP) and photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and chronic urinary retention. BJU International. 2015;115:295.
  7. Laser removal of prostate tissue (HoLEP). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  8. Photo Selective selective vaporization of the prostate (PVP). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.