Greenlight laser surgery for enlarged prostates

Written by: Professor Hashim Uddin Ahmed
Published: | Updated: 28/03/2019
Edited by: Top Doctors®

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.

By Professor Hashim Uddin Ahmed

Professor Hashim Ahmed is one of London's leading urological surgeons. Operating from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and The Cromwell Hospital he is best known for his role in the pioneering of ground-breaking changes regarding how men are diagnosed and treated with prostate cancer as well as the minimally invasive therapy of benign prostate enlargement ( BPH).

He is a leading expert in transperineal targeted and image fusion prostate biopsy as well as focal high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and cryotherapy (cryosurgery). He is one of the top UK surgeons offering Rezum water vapour or steam therapy for enlarged prostates in the UK. He also offers laser TURP (Greenlight laser) and standard TURP according to suitability and patient preference.

Professor Ahmed is dedicated to research for which he has won several prestigious awards and has given numerous lectures on field-related matters. He is renowned for the focal therapy prostate treatments that he provides which offer a less risky alternative to traditional surgery and radiotherapy and he is a global authority on MRI and minimally invasive diagnosis methods. He has carried out hundreds of these procedures and is a renowned international surgeon for HIFU and cryotherapy/cryosurgery.

You need to register as a new patient online if you wish to book an appointment and for self-pay patients, payment must be made online or the appointment will be canceled. For insured patients, please ensure that you leave the appropriate details on the online form. If you do not have pre-authorisation from your insurer then you are likely to be liable to the self-pay rate for consultations and any investigations and procedures.

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