GreenLight Laser Prostate Surgery for BPH or Enlarged Prostate

The Benefits of GreenLight Laser Prostate Surgery

GreenLight laser prostate surgery is a safe, minimally invasive treatment offered to patients diagnosed with BPH enlarged prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) including patients with larger prostates of between sixty and one hundred grams.

GreenLight laser treatment is designed to remove excess prostate tissue around the urethra to enable a more regular urine flow and fuller emptying of the bladder. One patient feedback study¹, suggested that 84% of patients had a positive experience from having the procedure.

Greenlight Laser BPH Treatment
Credit: Getty Images Ltd.

The technique is precise and exact and avoids healthy prostate tissue whilst minimising bleeding, making it a fast and effective procedure. Blood loss is reduced by delivering pulses of energy as opposed to a constant beam that allow the blood to cool and congeal between exposures.

The surgery typically lasts ninety minutes and is performed using either a general or spinal anesthetic which numbs you just from the waist down. The procedure involves the urethral insertion of a laserscope and laser fibre via your penis. Many individuals with BPH are appropriate candidates for GreenLight laser treatment; this includes patients who depend on blood-thinning medication or a catheter.

Medium and long term side effects

Patients usually resume everyday activities within a month of surgery and ongoing treatment is seldom required with this long-term solution. It’s safe to drive after a couple of days, although a catheter may be needed. Side effects can include the uncomfortable passing of urine/blood and the frequent urge to urinate; erection strength or quality may be impacted and you should abstain from sexual activity for at least two weeks.

Dry orgasms where semen harmlessly exits via the bladder and during urination are another possible side-effect and urine may also leak during ejaculation; these are usually short-lived and have little impact upon the sensation experienced during orgasm. Fertility may also be reduced, but not eliminated so birth control methods should still be addressed if necessary.

Pre- BPH (Enlarged Prostate) Procedure

Following diagnosis using a range of BPH assessments, elective surgery may be offered. Similar to other in-patient operations you would normally have your blood pressure taken and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check your heart beat. Remember to take a list of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications you regularly take or have taken recently. You should also have dates of previous surgical procedures and have a discussion about your health history. You should also be asked how you feel now and if you think you may have recently been exposed to anyone with a contagious disease for example; COVID-19 or influenza.

¹Birmingham Prostate Clinic, Patient Green Light Laser Feedback, Updated: 2019-09-11
²Further Information: University of Virginia, Green Light Laser Team for BPH, 2020

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  1. Some surgeons choose to perform a “trim” TURP at the same time as carrying out greenlight laser treatment, making it a very effective option for BPH.

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