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
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.