GreenLight Laser Treatment

Dr Love specialises in treating Enlarged Prostates (BPH) including GreenLight Laser Treatment.

What is GreenLight Laser Treatment?

GreenLight laser prostatectomy is a safe, effective and efficient treatment to ease the urinary symptoms in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), enlargement of the prostate gland.

GreenLight laser prostatectomy is an effective alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in patients with enlargement of the prostate gland.

The procedure has additional benefits such as less bleeding at the time of the surgery, and being able to stay on blood-thinning medication in some cases, somewhat fewer complications, reduced indwelling catheter time and shorter hospital stay with quicker resumption of normal activities.

It is a procedure that uses a 532nm wavelength laser to remove the enlarged prostate tissue blocking the urethra by vaporisation of the tissue. This laser appears green in colour hence the name of the device. The laser with this specific wavelength is chosen as it is selectively absorbed by the red prostate tissue and poorly absorbed by water, therefore causing vaporisation. The procedure is also known as Photo-selective Vaporisation of the Prostate (PVP).

Watch Video: Dr Love discusses GreenLight Laser Treatment

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland that is only present in men. It is involved in providing nutrition to sperm and assisting in their transport.

It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man gets older. As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to constrict the urethra (water tube).

This leads to a number of urination and bladder problems such as urinary hesitancy, frequent urination, urgency, getting up at night, urinary tract infection and urinary retention. This is referred to as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is more common in men above 60 years of age

GreenLight Laser Treatment is one way of treating these patients to remove the excess prostate tissue blocking the urethra to ease the urinary symptoms.

GreenLight Laser Treatment has several advantages over TURP, the long-standing procedure used for years for BPH, including:

  • Minimal blood loss. It virtually causes no bleeding as the laser creates a 1-2 mm zone of coagulation necrosis around the area of vaporisation. The laser also cauterises the ruptured blood vessels during the surgery controlling any bleeding.
  • Offers early symptomatic relief and significant improvement in urine flow after the surgery.
  • It is a safer procedure with fewer complications.
  • General recovery is much quicker.
  • In an otherwise healthy patient, it can be done as an outpatient procedure and the patient is discharged the same day of the procedure. Some patients may have to stay overnight in the hospital.
  • Long-term symptomatic relief lasting for at least five years.
  • The procedure is also safe and effective for patients on anticoagulation therapy who must stay on those medications.
  • GreenLight Laser Treatment is performed under general or spinal anaesthesia. The laser is delivered through a flexible fibre passed through a cystoscope, a tube like instrument with a light and a camera at one of its ends.
  • The cystoscope along with the flexible fibre is inserted through the urethral opening of the penis. The real time images from the cystoscope are displayed on the monitor in the operating room.
  • Dr. Love controls the direction and delivery of the laser energy through the flexible fibre tube.
  • Laser energy is delivered as small bursts, lasting for a few seconds, to vaporise the prostate tissue. Continuous flow of irrigation fluid is maintained to remove the cut prostate tissue, keep the fibre tip cool and to maintain a clear view of the operative area.
  • The cystoscope with the fibre is slowly manipulated through the urethra, removing the obstructing prostate tissue thereby enlarging the space within the urethra and restoring normal urine flow.
  • At the end of the procedure a catheter is placed in the bladder and is usually removed the next day after surgery.
  • Patients can be discharged on the same day of the procedure but many are kept overnight and discharged the next day.

All surgical procedures are associated with some risk. Although GreenLight laser prostatectomy is a relatively safe procedure, complications can occur.

Some of the less serious complications include haematuria (blood in urine), which although not so common at the time of the operation, can still happen in the first few weeks (although less than TURP), dysuria (pain while urination) and urge incontinence.

These all usually resolve within a few weeks of the surgery.

Urinary tract infection may occur in a few cases and can be managed with antibiotics.

One of the major complications of green light laser prostatectomy is retrograde ejaculation in which semen flows back into the urinary bladder rather than coming out through the urethra affecting the patient’s reproductive capability. This also happens with TURP.

One disadvantage of the green laser prostatectomy is that as prostate tissue is vaporized, it is not available for biopsy or pathological analysis. This is important as there is a small probability of prostate cancer being present in all BPH patients.

Therefore, men opting for GreenLight surgery need to have their prostates assessed for cancer beforehand, by PSA testing, rectal examination and, possibly, biopsy or MRI.

The other disadvantage is that, because of the high temperature created by the laser, and the inflammation it causes, the urgency and burning when passing urine can take longer to settle down than with TURP, and there can still be bleeding in the healing period, particularly for men on anti-coagulation medication.

Dr Love also offers Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapies (MIST) for treating BPH inluding Rezum Water Vapour Therapy and UroLift.

Dr Love also offers Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapies (MIST) for treating BPH inluding Rezum Water Vapour Therapy and UroLift.

We are here to help

Dr Love and his team understand that you may be feeling nervous, anxious or embarrassed about your symptoms or condition. We want you to know that you deserve to get the treatment you need and that you can go on to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. It’s never too late.

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You can call our expert team confidentially and ask any questions you may have about your symptoms, condition, treatment options and the best way forward. No obligation.

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You can request an appointment with Dr Love online. You do not need a referral from your GP, but this may assist with the cost of the consultation.

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