Risks

Risks of laser surgery can include:

  • Temporary difficulty urinating. You might have trouble urinating for a few days after the procedure. Until you can urinate on your own, you will need to have a tube (catheter) inserted into your penis to carry urine out of your bladder.
  • Urinary tract infection. This type of infection is a possible complication after any prostate procedure. An infection is increasingly likely to occur the longer you have a catheter in place. You will likely need antibiotics to treat the infection.
  • Narrowing (stricture) of the urethra. Scars after prostate surgery can block urine flow, leading to additional treatment.
  • Dry orgasm. A common and long-term effect of any type of prostate surgery is the release of semen during ejaculation into the bladder rather than out of the penis. Also known as retrograde ejaculation, dry orgasm isn't harmful and generally doesn't affect sexual pleasure. But it can interfere with your ability to father a child.
  • Erectile dysfunction. The risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate treatments is small and generally lower with laser surgery than with traditional surgery.
  • Need for retreatment. Some men require follow-up treatment after laser ablative surgery because not all of the tissue is removed or it might grow back over time. Men who have HoLEP generally don't require re-treatment because the entire part of the prostate that can block urine flow is removed.

Serious long-term complications are less likely with prostate laser surgery than with traditional surgery.

Jan. 25, 2017
References
  1. Cunningham GR, et al. Transurethral procedures for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  2. Wein AJ, et al., eds. Minimally invasive and endoscopic management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  3. Nair SM, et al. A review of laser treatment for symptomatic BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Current Urology Reports. 2016;17:45.
  4. Brunkhorst O, et al. Evaluation of the learning curve for holmium laser enucleation of the prostate using multiple outcome measures. Urology. 2015;86:824.
  5. Abdul-Muhsin H, et al. Analysis of benign prostatic hyperplasia patients' perspective through a third-party administered survey. Urology. 2016;88:155.
  6. Jaeger CD, et al. Holmium laser enucleation (HoLEP) and photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and chronic urinary retention. BJU International. 2015;115:295.
  7. Laser removal of prostate tissue (HoLEP). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  8. Photo Selective selective vaporization of the prostate (PVP). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.