Prostate laser surgery helps reduce urinary symptoms caused by BPH. Urinary symptoms caused by BPH can include:
- Frequent, urgent need to urinate
- Difficulty starting urination
- Slow (prolonged) urination
- Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
- Stopping and starting again while urinating
- The feeling you can't completely empty your bladder
- Urinary tract infections
Laser surgery may also be done to treat or prevent complications due to blocked urine flow, such as:
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Kidney or bladder damage
- Inability to control urination (incontinence) or an inability to urinate at all (urinary retention)
- Bladder stones
- Recurring blood in your urine
A number of procedures are available to treat BPH, but laser surgery has several potential advantages over other methods, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and open prostatectomy. The advantages generally include:
- Lower risk of bleeding. Because there is a low risk of bleeding with laser surgery, it can be a good option for men who take medication to thin their blood or who have a bleeding disorder that doesn't allow their blood to clot normally.
- Shorter or no hospital stay. Laser surgery can be done on an outpatient basis or with just an overnight hospital stay. Other prostate treatments, such as open prostatectomy or transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), may require a longer hospital stay.
- Quicker recovery. Recovery from laser surgery generally takes less time than recovery from TURP or open surgery.
- Less need for a catheter. Procedures to treat an enlarged prostate generally require use of a tube (catheter) to drain urine from the bladder after surgery. With laser surgery, a catheter is generally needed for less than 24 hours.
- More-immediate results. Improvements in urinary symptoms from laser surgery are noticeable right away, while it can take several weeks to months to see noticeable improvement with medications.