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Overview

Prostate laser surgery is used to relieve moderate to severe urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

During prostate laser surgery, a scope is inserted through the tip of the penis into the tube carrying urine from the bladder (urethra). A laser passed through the scope delivers precise and intense heat that shrinks or removes excess tissue in the nearby prostate that is preventing urine flow.

Who is a candidate?

Good candidates may include those who experience the following as a result of prostatic hyperplasia:

  • Frequent, urgent needs to urinate
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Slow (prolonged) urination
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Stopping and starting again while urinating

Laser surgery might 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 or urinate at all
  • Kidney and bladder stones
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)

What to expect

A narrow fiber-optic scope is inserted through the tip of the penis into the urethra. The laser inserted through the scope is used to vaporize prostate tissue blocking urine flow. Depending on the procedure, instruments might be used to remove cut pieces of prostate tissue from the bladder. Patients might go home afterwards or need to stay in the hospital overnight depending on the procedure.

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