GreenLight Laser Prostate Surgery

Birmingham Prostate Clinic specialises in GreenLight laser prostate surgery for the benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or the enlarged prostate. We are highly experienced in this minimally invasive procedure, having now completed more than 800 operations and were the first in the West Midlands to introduce GreenLight laser prostate surgery in 2007.

We are one of the first centres in the UK to invest in the most advanced technology for this procedure, the ‘third generation’ XPS machine. This £100,000 machine is more powerful than its two predecessors, allowing us to treat men with large prostates (60pm to 100gm) and to reduce the operating time by 50 per cent. In a study of patients who had GreenLight laser surgery at BPC, 84 per cent were positive about the outcome of their procedure.

Third generation advanced technology

The GreenLight XPS system has a feature called pulse coagulation, which reduces the risk of blood loss. The pulses of energy cause the blood vessels in the surgical area to coagulate, or solidify. By providing pulsed, rather than a constant flow of energy, the XPS system allows tissue to quickly cool down and coagulate, preventing blood loss. “The principle behind GreenLight laser has always been using high-powered energy beams to vaporise excess tissue and coagulate blood vessels to minimise bleeding,” explains Alan Doherty, Consultant Urologist of Birmingham Prostate Clinic.”

“The XPS system allows us to do both of these things far more efficiently. We have greater power, which is particularly important with larger prostates. We also have pulsed coagulation which means we can minimise bleeding in the most safe and effective way possible,” said Mr Doherty, who is one of the most experienced surgeons using GreenLight laser in the UK.”

Principles of treatment

In GreenLight laser prostate surgery, a highpowered laser destroys surplus prostate tissue without harming other healthy tissue. In this way, an enlarged prostate that is blocking the bladder can be opened up. The laser vaporises excess tissue using safe and precise energy pulses. Blood vessels in the target area are also vaporised, which means there is very little bleeding.

Who can have this treatment?

All patients with an enlarged prostate, known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) are suitable, including those on anticoagulants. Because we use powerful, third generation laser technology and proven techniques, we can treat men with large prostates, including those who have gone into retention and are dependent upon a catheter.

What can I expect from the procedure?

The procedure takes an average of 60 to 90 minutes under general anaesthetic. A thin laser fibre is positioned within the laserscope and is passed up through the urethra to deliver the treatment.

At BPC, we recognise that for some men, a ‘trim’ TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) can be a useful procedure at the end of GreenLight laser surgery if residual prostate tissue is still present. We call this a ‘trim’ TURP. By completing the procedure in this way, the normal flow of urine out of the body is restored and the likelihood of needing further surgery in the future is reduced. Having a trim TURP in additional to laser surgery does not have a significant impact upon your post-operative recovery, our experience shows. After your procedure, you will spend one night in hospital.

Your first day after surgery

A catheter will have been inserted at the end of your procedure. This is to enable you to come round from the general anaesthetic and for your bladder to recover immediately after surgery. On your first day after surgery, your nurses will check you are emptying your bladder properly and if so, your catheter will be removed and you will be able to go home. A minority of patients (usually those with the most severe BPH) may need to go home with a suprapubic catheter, which is removed after a week.

Medium and longer term outcomes

You can expect to return to all your normal activities within about two to four weeks after GreenLight laser surgery. Most patients are able to return to driving 48 hours after their operation.  The procedure has very good long term durability performed by experienced surgeons. It is very rare for men to need further surgery. The most common side effect of the procedure is a dry orgasm. Men continue to have the same sensation of orgasm but semen goes back into the bladder and you pass it when you next empty your bladder. This is very significant if you wish to have more children and you must discuss this prior to making any decision about prostate surgery.

Find out more

See our widely-viewed film on GreenLight laser, with BPC patient Michael Priest describing his experience of BPH and treatment and surgeon Alan Doherty explaining how the treatment works.

See the results of the evaluation of GreenLight laser by our patients, which shows 84 per cent of our patient were positive about the results of the procedure.

Click here if you would like to confidentially discuss your symptoms and treatment options with our nurse. Alternatively, call 0870 225 0885.