Advanced laser technology brings relief to men

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Consultant urologists at St Anthony's hospital are now offering men requiring surgery for benign prostatic enlargement the newest laser therapy following the purchase by the hospital of a GreenLight (HPS) laser.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate affecting more than half of all men over the age of 60. The GreenLight Laser procedure, also called PVP, uses laser energy to vaporise and remove enlarged prostatic tissue, leaving an open channel for urine to flow through. Patients experience rapid symptom relief and a significant improvement in urinary flow. The GreenLight procedure is less invasive and has a better side effect profile compared to conventional transurethral resection of the prostate(TURP) or open prostatectomy. Blood loss tend to be non existent or minimal and hospital stay is usually less than 24 hours.

Consultant surgeon Mr Pieter Le Roux, who introduced this procedure at Epsom and St Helier NHS trust and also performs the GreenLight operation at St Anthony’s has been very pleased with the results. "An audit of our initial series of 25 cases has been very encouraging. The vast majority of patients went home on the first postoperative day without a catheter. Patient satisfaction levels are high and we have seen only very minimal side effects. Conventional TURP is associated with more bleeding, a higher incidence of complications and a longer hospital stay of 3 or 4 days."

Most men develop an element of BPH in their lifetime. Not all require treatment. Symptoms include difficulty in urinating, a reduced urine stream, straining to urinate, frequency of urination, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. The GreenLight laser system delivers immediate relief of symptoms and dramatic restoration of urine flow. Almost all patients with BPH who require a surgical solution to their problems are suitable for the Greenlight procedure. As with any procedure there are risks associated with GreenLight Laser Therapy, however the most common side effects tend to be mild and short lived. Patients are discharged within 24 hours and can return to normal non-strenuous activities within days.

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