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GreenLight Laser Therapy

Address various urinary difficulties and discomfort with GreenLight laser therapy in Houston, League City, and Clear Lake. For individuals who have problems with urination due to the enlargement of the prostate gland, this procedure offers a highly effective non-invasive solution. From moderate to severe urinary symptoms, GreenLight laser therapy can help you return to normal, stress-free urination.

What Is GreenLight Laser Prostatectomy?

GreenLight laser prostatectomy is a safe, effective and efficient treatment to ease the urinary symptoms in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), enlargement of the prostate gland. It is a minimally invasive procedure which utilizes a 532nm wavelength laser to remove the excess prostate tissue blocking the urethra by vaporization. This laser appears green in color so this surgery is also called green light laser therapy. The laser with this specific wavelength is chosen as it is selectively absorbed by the red prostate tissue and poorly absorbed by water. The procedure is also known as Photoselective Vaporization of the Prostate (PVP).

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland that is only present in men. It is involved in providing nutrition to sperm and assisting in their transport.

It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to constrict the urethra. This leads to a number of urination and bladder problems such as urinary hesitancy, frequent urination, urinary tract infection, and urinary retention. This is referred to as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is more common in men above 60 years of age but can begin even as early as age 40.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for GreenLight Laser Therapy?

Patients who may benefit from GreenLight laser therapy experience difficulty urinating and find themselves frequently and urgently needing to urinate without forewarning. If you have a weak urinary flow and deal with constant pausing that leads to prolonged urination, then you may be an ideal candidate for this treatment.

Another symptom that could qualify you for this procedure is having the feeling of the bladder never being emptied, especially with frequent trips to the bathroom. Patients who opt for GreenLight laser therapy typically have tried medications and have not had improvement in their symptoms.

Your Consultation with Dr. Dhir

Your consultation will include a review of your medical history. Dr. Dhir will discuss your troubles with urination, and a physical examination will be conducted to determine the presence of BPH.

This will involve cystoscopy and a transrectal ultrasound – in-office procedures that take just a few minutes to perform; they are somewhat uncomfortable but not painful. After these vital diagnostic tests, GreenLight laser therapy may be recommended if it is suitable for your condition.

What Are the Advantages of GreenLight Laser Prostatectomy?

GreenLight laser prostatectomy has several advantages over other treatment procedures for benign prostatic hyperplasia, including:

  • Minimal blood loss. It virtually causes no bleeding as the laser creates a 1-2 mm zone of coagulation necrosis around the area of vaporization. The laser also cauterizes the ruptured blood vessels during the surgery controlling any bleeding.
  • Offers immediate symptomatic relief and significant improvement in urine flow after the surgery.
  • It is a safer procedure with fewer complications, including bleeding. Recovery is much quicker. In an otherwise healthy patient, it is done as an outpatient procedure and the patient is discharged the same day of the procedure. Rarely, patients may have to stay overnight in the hospital for observation.
  • Long-term symptomatic relief seldomly needing repeat surgery.
  • The procedure is also safe and effective for patients on blood-thinning medications.

What Are the Indications for GreenLight Laser Prostatectomy?

GreenLight laser therapy is indicated in patients with bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) to remove excess prostate tissue blocking the urethra. Typically, these patients have failed medical therapy and are looking for a durable solution to their urinary issues.

What Does the GreenLight Laser Therapy Procedure Involve?

GreenLight Laser therapy is performed under general or spinal anesthesia. The laser is delivered as a flexible fiber passed through a cystoscope, a tube-like instrument with a light and a camera. The cystoscope, along with the flexible fiber, is inserted through the urethral opening of the penis. The real-time images from the cystoscope are displayed on the monitor in the operating room.

Dr. Dhir controls the direction and delivery of the laser energy through the flexible fiber tube, under the guidance of real-time imaging. Laser energy is delivered as small bursts, lasting for a few seconds, to vaporize the prostate tissue. A continuous flow of irrigation fluid is maintained to remove the cut prostate tissue, keep the fiber tip cool and to maintain a clear view of the operative area.

The cystoscope with the fiber is slowly manipulated through the urethra, removing the obstructing prostate tissue thereby enlarging the space within the urethra and restoring normal urine flow. At the end of the procedure, a catheter is placed in the bladder and is usually removed the next day after surgery. Patients are usually discharged on the same day of the procedure but may be kept overnight and discharged the next day.

What Is the Recovery Process After GreenLight Laser Therapy?

After the procedure, you will stay in the post-anesthesia recovery room until you receive instructions to return home for rest. No pain medications are needed after this procedure; an antibiotic and anti-spasmodic medication will be sent to your pharmacy.

A month’s rest from strenuous activities, sex, and heavy lifting is critical for proper healing and to avoid bleeding complications. You will experience some mild burning with urination and frequency of urination after the catheter is removed. This will get better each week and lasts for about four to six weeks.

You will experience improved urinary flow and better urinary control by the six-week mark when you meet with Dr. Dhir for your post-operative visit.

What Are the Risks and Complications of GreenLight Laser Therapy?

All surgical procedures are associated with some risk. Although GreenLight laser therapy is a relatively safe procedure, complications can occur.

Some of the less serious complications include mild hematuria (blood in urine), dysuria (pain while urinating), and short-term incontinence if the bladder urgency becomes severe. These usually resolve within a few weeks of the surgery. Urinary tract infection may occur in a few cases and can be managed with antibiotics.

An expected consequence of GreenLight laser prostatectomy is retrograde ejaculation – semen will flow back into the urinary bladder rather than coming out through the urethra affecting the patient’s reproductive capability. Given most men with BPH are past the age of procreation, this likely will just result in less “mess” during orgasm.

GreenLight laser therapy is an effective alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in patients with enlargement of the prostate gland. The procedure has additional benefits such as minimal bleeding, fewer complications, reduced indwelling catheter time, shorter hospital stay, and a quicker resumption of normal activities.

Arrange a Consultation with Dr. Dhir

Put an end to your urination problems with GreenLight laser therapy in Houston, League City, and Clear Lake, Texas. For more information on how a GreenLight laser prostatectomy can safely and swiftly improve your quality of life, arrange a consultation. Contact us today!