Understanding Laser Prostate Surgery

Posted on: 16 March 2023

Laser prostate surgery can allow you to avoid the large incisions associated with traditional open surgical techniques, as this type of surgery is carried out using keyhole surgical techniques. As such, it's considered to carry a lower risk of complications, such as bacterial infection, and allows for a speedier recovery. A number of conditions are treated with laser prostate surgery, including prostate cancer and chronic urinary tract infections. So, if your doctor has suggested laser prostate surgery, understanding what's involved can help you decide whether to go ahead with this form of treatment.

The Surgical Process Explained 

Laser prostate surgery is usually carried out using spinal anaesthesia to numb the lower half of your body. General anaesthetic can be requested if you're very nervous about having surgery. It's usually possible to go home on the same day you have the surgery, but in some situations, you may be asked to stay overnight for observations, such as if you have an underlying health condition that affects healing or blood clotting.

In order to carry out the surgery, a flexible tube must be inserted into the urethra via the tip of the penis. This flexible tube has a tiny camera attached to it and allows the surgeon to insert small precision tools through it. These tools include a surgical laser, and the camera is linked to a monitor that allows your surgeon to operate the laser safely and efficiently.

An Overview Of Two Surgical Techniques

There are typically two main surgical techniques that are utilised during this type of surgery. Photoselective vaporisation of the prostate (PVP) utilises heat from the laser to destroy prostate tissue. This technique is usually used when partial prostate removal is being undertaken. Conditions that cause enlargement of the prostate or blockages typically respond well to PVP.

If your entire prostate needs to be removed, your doctor will likely use a technique known as Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP). This technique involves breaking the tissue up into fragments and then removing each fragment through the flexible tube that's in situ. You shouldn't feel anything during surgery, but when recovering at home you may notice you feel tender or bruised for a few days.

Laser prostate surgery is considered to be safe and effective, but if you have any concerns about the surgery you should discuss them with your doctor ahead of time. Your doctor can discuss the benefits and risks in detail with you, which can help you feel more at ease with having the procedure.


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