Laser Therapy for Enlarged Prostate

What is Laser Therapy for Prostate Gland?

Laser therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia is a treatment module for enlarged prostate glands which works by using light energy and heat to destroy prostatic tissue. There are many different types of laser therapy for BPH. Most common ones are Greenlight, Holmium or Thulium laser prostatectomy.

The prostate gland is situated below the urinary bladder in men, and it surrounds the proximal urethra. With advancing age, many men experience a disorder of the prostate gland due to abnormal growth which is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), accompanied by distressful symptoms concerning urination.

Benefits of Laser Therapy for Prostate Gland

Laser surgery has a number of features that make it a viable option for treatment.

It is reported to give the same relief, benefit and outcome as compared to the more traditional TURP (Trans-urethral resection of the prostate) while having lesser side effects after the procedure such as fewer chances of bleeding. It is therefore mainly indicated for men who are unable to withold blood thinning agents before and after surgery due to other medical conditions. It may also reduce catheter duration and hospital stay. Ongoing studies are being conducted to evaluate various types of laser therapy for enlarged prostate in terms of short and long term outcomes.

Preparation Before Laser Therapy for Prostate Gland

In order to prepare for the procedure, the patient should be adequately counselled to ensure that the informed consent obtained is fully understood.

Dr Kim then runs a number of tests to ensure that the patient is fit and in good health for the surgery. These will include

  • IPSS score,
  • A thorough physical examination.
  • Pathology tests
  • Urine analysis,
  • PSA test,
  • Uroflowmetry test+/-Urodynamics
  • Scans (ie ultrasound)

Steps in Laser Therapy for Prostate Gland

The laser surgery includes the following steps:

  • The patient is positioned on his back on a table.
  • Anaesthesia (general or spinal) is administered, as per the decision of the anaesthetist and urologist.
  • A device known as the cystoscope is inserted into the urethra to reach the prostate gland.
  • A separate thin fibre is run through the cystoscope, which emits radiating pulses of light, producing heat to destruct the enlarged gland.
  • Once completed, the cystoscope is removed and a catheter is placed to help drain urine from the bladder.

The procedure usually lasts an hour.

Recovery After Laser Therapy for Prostate Gland

The patient is placed in the recovery room and his vitals are monitored, followed by his release after a few hours.

The catheter remains in place for one or two days after the procedure to aid in urination.

Patients can return to their normal routine within three days after the surgery. Driving, heavy lifting and other strenuous activities are prohibited until Dr Kim and his team sign off on it, as they may result in bleeding.

Pain medication can also be taken on an as per need basis to manage post-operative pain. Given the nature of the surgery it is expected for the patient to experience diminished volume or retrograde ejaculation. Sexual intercourse is best to be avoided for the few weeks after surgery, to allow healing.

Care Plan for Laser Therapy for Prostate Gland

Dr Kim will devise a care plan for the patient for the next few months, to aid in recovery and to help improve bladder control.

He will also advise a follow-up visit chart to check the patient’s progress in the clinic as well and to check for any post-surgical complications.