Greenlight Laser Therapy Prostate Ablation

prostate anatomyIf you’re reading this article, chances are good that you have BPH or an enlarged prostate, and you’re tired of scheduling your life around your urinary symptoms. You may have tried medication that hasn’t worked well for you, or maybe you don’t want to deal with the side effects anymore.

If you’ve already met with Dr. Bevan-Thomas, you know that when it comes to your prostate, size matters. There are several procedures available to treat BPH. The size of your prostate and severity of your symptoms will help determine the best option for you, but in many cases, Greenlight Ablation is Dr. B-T’s treatment of choice for moderately enlarged prostates, especially patients with a larger prostate median lobe and for patients not suited for a minimally invasive procedure such as Urolift or Rezum.

Here’s what you need to know about GLA.

WHAT IS GREENLIGHT LASER ABLATION?

So you know that BPH is an enlargement of your prostate that has narrowed your urethra (urinary channel), which causes problems with urinating. GLA is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laser to vaporize the overgrown tissue of your prostate and reopen the urethra so urine will flow smoothly again. It not only vaporizes the prostate tissue blocking the urine flow, but it also minimizes the bleeding usually associated with the procedure.

WILL I NEED ANESTHESIA?

We’ve got you covered! GLA is done under general anesthesia or with a spinal block and sedative. Dr. Bevan-Thomas will discuss anesthesia with you before your procedure, but fortunately, the procedure is usually around 30-45 minutes long, depending on the size of the prostate.

HOW IS GREENLIGHT ABLATION DIFFERENT FROM TRANSURETHRAL RESECTION OF THE PROSTATE (TURP)?

Good question. Until recently, TURP has traditionally been the preferred form of treatment for an enlarged prostate. The TURP stands for transurethral resection of the prostate and is affectionately referred to as the roto-rooter job. It got that name because it was similar to opening up the blockage from pipes, but the TURP uses a loop rather than a laser. Although just as effective as the laser, there is a higher risk of bleeding, and most patients require hospitalization for at least 1-2 days after the procedure.

The Greenlight ablation, on the other hand, uses a laser to vaporize, rather than cut, the prostate tissue. This method has significant advantages over TURP. They include:

  • Shorter hospital stay.
  • Less chance of needing a catheter for a prolonged period of time.
  • Quicker recovery.
  • Lower risk of severe bleeding.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE GREENLIGHT PROCEDURE?

You may experience slight burning when you urinate for about a week and a small amount of blood in your urine. These are both normal and nothing to worry about. Dr. B-T recommends anti-inflammatory medication after the procedure to minimize these issues.

You may also have some frequency and sudden urges to go while your urethra adjusts to its “new normal.” You should notice a dramatic change in your flow and relief of symptoms within a day or two. (This can take longer in some men, depending on medical history and other health conditions.)

Some men will be sent home with a catheter in place. If you need a catheter, it can usually be removed in one to three days. Dr. B-T will discuss that with you beforehand.

Most men can return to non-strenuous activities about three days after their procedure. Most are back to normal activity after two weeks.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF GREENLIGHT LASER THERAPY?

Some (but not all of the most common risks) include:

  • Many men will experience retrograde ejaculation (also called dry orgasm or dry climax) following surgery. They feel orgasm sensation as usual, but rather than exiting the body through the penis, semen flows backward into the bladder and will be passed the next time they urinate. Because of this risk, GLT may not be the right choice for men who want to retain their fertility.
  • Hematuria - blood in the urine.
  • Urinary frequency and/or urgency.
  • Burning sensation with urination.
  • Urinary tract infection.

SO ARE YOU READY TO TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE?

Click the button below to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bevan-Thomas to see if GreenLight laser therapy is right for you.

Urologist Dr. Richard Bevan-Thomas of Urology Partners
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