Understanding Laser Prostate Surgery

Laser prostate surgery, often referred to as laser prostatectomy, it is mostly performed to treat enlarged prostate glands. The reason behind enlarged prostate glands is not clear, but it is usually associated with old age and testosterone levels. An enlarged prostate can push against your urethra, which can make urinating difficult. You may experience symptoms like difficulty in urination or the frequent need to urinate at night. If left untreated, an enlarged prostate can damage your kidneys or bladder. Here's what you need to know about laser prostate surgery:

1. Doctor's Visit and Diagnosis

When you visit your urologist, you will talk first. The talk is mainly to inform him or her about your symptoms and when you noticed them. The urologist may perform a urine test, blood test and a rectal exam. The latter involves inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel your prostate. Based on the results, you might require an ultrasound, which involves inserting a probe into your rectum for better prostate visualisation.

If your prostate is found to be enlarged, your urologist may inform you that you have BPH, which is an abbreviation for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia; a complex term for enlarged prostate. They will then proceed to carry out some tests to find out which treatment option is most suitable.

2. Treatment Options

  • Medication: This is not a permanent solution. Choosing it means that you will constantly be taking drugs to help relax your prostate and bladder tissue, which temporarily allows urine to flow through your urethra.
  • Laser prostate surgery: This is the most recommended because it involves passing a laser instrument through your urethra to access your prostate. Small prostate tissue is then cut and removed until you are left with the desired prostate size. 
  • Open Surgery: This should only be considered if laser prostate surgery and medication are not an option.
  • Catheterisation: Sometimes, laser prostate surgery and open surgery may prove too risky to perform. If this is the case, your urologist may place a catheter into your bladder and direct it to a urine bag that you will always wear and change out as needed.

3. What Happens During Laser Prostate Surgery?

You can either be placed under general anaesthesia (you will be unconscious through the process) or regional anaesthesia (your abdomen is numbed). The choice is yours, but sometimes and depending on your health and health risks, the choice might not be yours to make.

As indicated above, a laser instrument is then guided through your urethra to your prostate to cut bits of tissue until it is sizeable. The reason why laser prostate surgery is considered the best option is that it minimises disturbance to other blood vessels and minimises bleeding.