PVP Greenlight laser

photovaporisation of the prostate

PVP Greenlight Laser is an alternative method of reducing the bladder outflow obstruction suffered by men with an enlarged prostate. While Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is still regarded as the gold standard surgical treatment for BPH, the prospect of a less invasive treatment is attractive. PVP GreenLight Laser still requires a short period of hospitalisation and a light anaesthetic, but recovery is quicker in the short term. A catheter (a tube which drains the bladder) is also needed for 1-2 days until the urine clears. Patients are advised to take life quietly and to avoid straining or heavy lifting for 10 days or so after the surgery.

Who is it suitable for?

Any patient for whom TURP is indicated, with the exception of men who have been in acute retention (unable to pass water); who have a prostate volume greater than 60cc; or who need laboratory analysis of the prostate “chippings”.

How does it work?

Just as in TURP, some prostate tissue is removed in order to relieve pressure on the urethra. But this time a laser probe is inserted and under the guidance of the surgeon the overgrown tissue is vaporised by the laser energy. The laser very effectively stops any tissue from bleeding and as a result no bladder irrigation is required.

Side-effects are similar to those of TURP. But with much less bleeding, the laser procedure is considered less invasive. Typically this means the hospital stay is shorter and recovery faster. However it is not uncommon for patients to feel a burning/stinging sensation for some time after the procedure and this may last up to six or even eight weeks.

It is normal to have traces of blood in the urine after this operation, so it is advisable to drink plenty of water for a few days while it clears. Clots are sometimes passed 10-14 days afterwards; again, this is part of the healing process.

Apart from this and the risk of infection that accompanies any operation or invasive procedure, the only significant side-effect is the near certainty that normal ejaculation will cease. This is because the contraction that occurs during orgasm may not completely block the entrance to the bladder once some tissue has been removed, and the semen will flow back into the bladder (“retrograde” or “dry” ejaculation) rather than out through the penis. This is not harmful, but it does mean that future fertility is greatly reduced.

Where is it done?

Our surgeons perform this operation at The Princess Grace or the King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes, both of which are very close to The Prostate Centre.

How much does it cost?

If you are paying for your treatment yourself, the cost of the procedure will be in the region of £8,000. If you have health insurance, you can expect this operation to be covered although some companies/policies do not pay the full amount of the surgeon’s or anaesthetist’s fees. We recommend that you discuss the potential shortfall with us before deciding to go ahead.

How can I make an appointment?

Please telephone our Patient Liaison team for an appointment on 020 7935 9720 or complete our online form.