Greenlight Laser TURP

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Greenlight laser TURP is the latest method for treatment of men with obstructive benign prostate enlargement (BPH). A specially designed fibre that emits a green laser beam is used to vapourise the prostate gland to create a cavity that heals over the next 3 weeks. The advantage over conventional TURP is that the laser seals the prostate blood vessels more effectively, making it a bloodless procedure. General anaesthesia is needed because it is a slower to do and can take up to 2 hours. Hence, it is best avoided for big prostates. A catheter is still inserted after the surgery but fluid irrigation is usually not needed. The catheter can be removed the next day. As such, the hospital stay of just one day is possible compared to 3 to 4 days for standard TURP. The other advantage is that blood-thinning medication, such as aspirin, plavix or warfarin need not be stopped. Greenlight laser TURP is more expensive because of the cost of the laser fibre and machine.

Complications include:

  • bleeding. This is usually less compared to standard TURP method
  • urinary retention. If this occurs, the catheter will need to be re-inserted and left in for a few days more.
  • retrograde ejaculation. Because the bladder neck is destroyed, the semen flows backward into the bladder during ejaculation to result in a dry ejaculate.