Major European study shows GreenLight laser is as effective as TURP but with fewer complications

“It is notable that this study shows GreenLight laser is equally effective as TURP. In other words, GreenLight laser ‘does the job’ very well, but in doing so, causes much less trauma and potential complications for the patient.”
Mr Alan Doherty, Consultant Urologist, Birmingham Prostate Clinic

A major European study has shown GreenLight laser causes fewer complications but is equally effective as TURP in treating BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).

The study is the first to directly measure and compare the effectiveness, safety and recovery times for the two surgical approaches to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.

TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate) has been the traditional surgical approach to BPH, cutting away surplus prostate tissue to restore normal urinary flow.

For the past decade in the UK, GreenLight laser has offered a less invasive alternative, in which surplus tissue is vaporised by the laser.

The GOLIATH study compared patients having both procedures, incorporating results from 269 patients in 29 different hospitals in 11 European countries.

Key findings are:

  • TURP and GreenLight laser were equivalent in terms of safety and effectiveness. This was measured by the number and rate of adverse events and IPSS (International Prostate Symptom Score) and Qmax (peak urinary flow rate).
  • GreenLight laser was superior in terms of recovery times, including less time wearing a catheter, shorter hospital stay, and a quicker return to a stable health status.
  • GreenLight laser had a much lower rate for further interventions.
  • GreenLight laser resulted in less blood loss than TURP.
  • Comparable prostate tissue volume and PSA (prostate specific antigen) reduction.

“This trial provides important new information that may cause many urologists and patients to choose GreenLight laser therapy as an alternative to TURP, which has long been regarded as the standard surgical treatment for BPH,” said Professor Alexander Bachmann MD, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, and principal investigator in the GOLIATH study.

“With faster recovery times, less time spent in the hospital and less catheterization time than TURP, GreenLight is a highly effective therapy for the treatment of BPH.”

The Birmingham Prostate Clinic was the first service in the West Midlands to introduce GreenLight laser in 2007. We have since completed one of the largest UK caseloads of 500 procedures and have recently invested in the ‘third generation’ XPS GreenLight laser machine.

Alan Doherty, BPC consultant urologist, comments: “The GOLIATH study is really important because it is the first time we have had a large series comparison of TURP and GreenLight laser.

“It confirms what has been clear to us since we introduced GreenLight laser – that this is a much better option for patients, with less blood loss, tissue trauma and far more rapid recovery.

“There has been some debate about whether GreenLight laser is as effective as TURP in clearing surplus tissue and restoring normal urinary flow. It is notable that this study shows GreenLight laser is equally effective as TURP. In other words, GreenLight laser ‘does the job’ very well, but in doing so, causes much less trauma and potential complications for the patient.

“It is also notable that the study assessed patients using the same third generation technology we have at BPC, the XPS machine, with a consistent level of power used of 180 watts. We have long argued that this level of power needs to be used for effective GreenLight laser treatment; where other surgeons have used much less power, the results of laser surgery may not be as good and long-lasting.”

BPC has carried out its own study of patients who have had a GreenLight laser procedure, with 189 out of 224 patients reporting they were either “delighted” or “pleased” with the outcome of their surgery.

We are also developing our own live results centre for patients who have GreenLight laser, which will provide the same levels of measurable outcomes and transparency as our award-winning live prostate cancer results centre.