Greenlight laser PVP is a laser treatment which removes excess tissue in the central part of the prostate. The laser vapourises the tissue using concentrated light which generates precise and intense heat. The procedure is also known as photo-selective vaporisation of the prostate (PVP). A small fibre, which carries laser energy, is inserted into the urethra through a cystoscope. This quickly removes prostate tissue. Natural urine flow is quickly restored and urinary symptoms are relieved in the majority patients. Our expert urological surgeon Hashim Ahmed explains more about this enlarged prostate treatment.
Which type of patient might benefit from greenlight laser therapy?
Greenlight laser therapy is suitable for patients suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms such as poor flow and incomplete bladder emptying. Usually men have tried medication which has stopped working.
What are the benefits?
It is a minimally invasive procedure which vapourises the central part of the prostate gland. Incisions are not necessary and the procedure normally takes between 40 and 60 minutes. Greenlight laser therapy makes vapourisation quicker and more efficient than previous prostate laser treatments.
Is greenlight laser therapy effective?
The majority of patients benefit from a rapid relief of symptoms and their urinary flow normally improves in urine within 24 hours of the procedure, though this varies on a case-to-case basis. Compared to traditional surgical options, greenlight laser therapy offers:
- less chance of severe blood loss
- same day surgery
- shorter catheterisation time
- comparable risks and outcomes
It can also be used if men are taking blood thinners, are in urinary retention, have a large prostate, or if they have a pacemaker, defibrillator or neurostimulator.
What are the risks?
The most common risks associated with greenlight laser PVP are haematuria (blood in the urine), short-term dysuria, and urinary tract infections. Erectile dysfunction can sometimes occur (5%) although dry orgasm occurs more commonly (50%).
About 1% need to have revision treatment each year after and stricture occurs in 2% of cases. Urinary incontinence occurs in 1% of men.
What are the alternatives?
Clinical studies have shown that the symptom relief success rate of greenlight laser therapy is similar to the traditional surgery (TURP), with the advantage of having fewer complications. Other types of laser treatments, such as Holmium, can also be used to remove prostate tissue with similar results.
If you would like to learn more about greenlight laser therapy for prostate enlargement, make an appointment to visit Mr Hashim Ahmed at The Bupa Cromwell Hospital.