Greenlight Laser is a less invasive surgical treatment for an enlarged prostate than the traditional Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP). Similar to TURP, prostate tissue is removed to relieve press on the urethra. However, in this procedure, a small fiber is inserted into the urethra through a cystoscope. The fiber delivers high-energy pulses of 532 nanometer (green) light to targeted prostatic tissue. The green light is absorbed by the prostate and the tissue is then eradicated through photo-selective vaporization. When this tissue is removed, natural urine flow is rapidly restored and urinary symptoms are quickly relieved in the majority of patients.
Since the laser prevents tissue from bleeding, no bladder irrigation is necessary. Additionally, with less bleeding, the hospital stay is typically shorter and the recovery process is faster.
Greenlight Laser Ablation offers numerous benefits that include:
- Expedient relief from BPH symptoms
- Lower risk than the traditional invasive procedures
- Speedy recovery
- Reduced operative time
- Decreased risk of erectile dysfunction
- Shortened (or elimination of) need for catheterization
- Side Effects
Greenlight Laser carries with it the same risk of infection that comes with any surgical procedure. The only other significant side effect is retrograde or dry ejaculation. After the tissue has been removed during the procedure, the contraction that occurs during orgasm may no longer completely block the entrance to the bladder. This means that some of the semen will flow back into the bladder instead of coming out through the penis. While this is not dangerous, it does negatively impact a patient’s fertility.
Most patients are able to resume normal activities within a couple of days. Strenuous activity can typically be resumed within two weeks.
Greenlight Laser is suitable for most BPH patients for whom TURP is indicated. Your doctor will assess your particular symptoms and desired outcomes to determine the best course of treatment.