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, your doctor inserts a scope through the tip of your penis into the tube that carries urine from your bladder (urethra). The prostate surrounds the urethra. A laser passed through the scope delivers energy that shrinks or removes excess tissue that is preventing urine flow.

Lasers use concentrated light to generate precise and intense heat. There are several different types of prostate laser surgery, including:

  • Photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP). A laser is used to melt away (vaporize) excess prostate tissue and enlarge the urinary channel.
  • Holmium laser ablation of the prostate (HoLAP). This procedure is similar to PVP but uses a different type of laser.
  • Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP). A laser is used to cut and remove the excess tissue that is blocking the urethra. Another instrument is then used to cut the prostate tissue into small pieces that are easily removed. HoLEP can be an option for men who have a severely enlarged prostate.

The type of laser surgery your doctor recommends will depend on several factors, including:

  • The size of your prostate
  • Your health
  • The type of laser equipment available
  • Your doctor's training