For the 50 percent of men in their 60s and 90 percent of men in their 70s and 80s who live with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) caused by the enlargement of the prostate gland, the Men’s Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital offers a wide array of treatment options, now including GreenLight™ laser therapy.
BPH is a common, non-cancerous urological condition that results in urination problems, which can severely impact quality of life. For men experiencing bothersome symptoms with urination, the urologic surgeons at BWFH work with each individual patient to determine a plan of care. Options for treating BPH may include doing nothing at all (this is referred to as watchful waiting or active surveillance), medication or surgery.
Between medication and traditional surgical options, there are minimally invasive options to consider, including catheterization to temporarily drain urine and a procedure new to BWFH called GreenLight laser therapy, or photoselective vaporization of the prostate, which uses a high-powered laser to vaporize obstructing prostate tissue.
“GreenLight laser therapy is ideal for men with a large, but not too large, prostate,” explains Martin Kathrins, MD, a urological surgeon at BWFH.
Dr. Kathrins says the procedure is much less invasive than traditional transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) procedures and prostatectomies. In fact, some patients can even return home on the same day as their procedure.
“The biggest benefit to GreenLight laser therapy is that bleeding complication rates are lower than traditional TURP surgeries,” explains Dr. Kathrins. “The degree to which blood in the urine is present at all is lower than traditional TURP surgeries, so this procedure can be ideal for patients who are on any form of anticoagulation medication, including a daily aspirin regimen, which is very common in our patients.”
To learn more about BPH, including risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options, visit BWFH.org.
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