Green Light Laser Prostate Treatment

The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. Most men older than 50 years have some enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia). As the prostate enlarges, men find it increasingly difficult to pass urine. Medicines to shrink the size of the prostate can be used. If these medicines are not effective, surgery may be needed. Traditional surgery performed for benign prostatic hyperplasia is known as transurethral resection of the prostate. This surgery requires a hospital stay and may be associated with certain complications.

Green light laser therapy is a new procedure that uses a special high-energy laser for vaporizing extra prostate tissue. It is a minor procedure compared with traditional surgery. It limits the chance of destroying the surrounding tissue. Also, it can be done under spinal or general anesthesia. Green light laser therapy may provide longstanding and almost immediate relief of a patient's symptoms.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Any allergies you have.

  • Any medicines you take, including herbs, eye drops, over-the-counter medication, and creams.

  • Previous problems you have had with anesthetics.

  • Symptoms such as fever or pain or burning while urinating.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

  • Incontinence of urine (problem holding urine).

  • Presence of blood in urine (hematuria).

  • Cramps in the bladder (bladder spasm).

  • Frequent urge to pass urine (urgency).

  • More frequent urination and burning on urination.

  • Sexual problems.

  • Scar tissue in the urinary passage.

  • Infection.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Your caregiver may discuss your anesthesia requirements.

  • Your caregiver may discuss medicines you are taking and may advise you to stop specific ones.

  • You may be given some pain medicine.

  • You may be given some medicine to help you sleep.

PROCEDURE

A laser is inserted into your prostate through your urinary passage (urethra) using a tube with an optical device at the end (endoscope). This helps your surgeon to clearly see the affected area. The green light laser applies high-power laser energy to the affected tissue until it is vaporized. This procedure is continued until all the affected tissue is removed. The loss of blood is minimal. There is little damage to the surrounding tissues. The entire procedure may take about 60 minutes. It is rare to require a catheter for longer than 2 hours after the procedure. You may be allowed to go home on the same day. Overnight stay is rarely needed.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You may experience mild discomfort.

  • You may have burning on urination for about 1 week.

  • You may be given mild pain medicine and medicine to reduce inflammation.

  • You may be given a medicine to kill germs (antibiotic).

  • Your catheter may be removed within 48 hours.

  • You may be allowed to go home the same day or you may have to stay overnight.

  • You may be able to return to your normal routine activities within 24 hours.

  • You should avoid doing any strenuous activity for about 2 weeks after the procedure.

  • You should take medicines as advised by your caregiver.

  • You should follow the instructions given by your caregiver.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have no relief of symptoms after the procedure.

  • You have an oral temperature of 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You have chills or night sweats

  • You have a temporary catheter and you are leaking around your catheter or have problems with your catheter.

  • You develop side effects which you think are coming from your medicine.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have severe bleeding.

  • You are suddenly unable to urinate. This is an emergency.

  • You develop shortness of breath or chest pains.

  • Clots develop.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • You develop pain in your back or over your lower abdomen.

  • You develop pain or swelling in your legs.