GreenLight laser for BPH is highly effective even if the prostate is severely enlarged. Michael Young describes his experience.

“When I first saw Mr Doherty, he did a full review of my notes and history. He pointed to a page dated 2013 and said: ‘You should have had surgery at this stage.’ Instead, what happened was six years of increasing pain and infection culminating in being stuck with a catheter for 11 months.

Like a lot of men, as I got older, I found I needed to go to the toilet more often during the day and started getting up at night as well. Back in 2013, I developed bladder stones which were extremely painful and as part of those investigations, my prostate was measured and found to be enlarged. No treatment was offered and later on, I was given medication for the enlarged prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, BPH). That helped at first but became less effective over time.

Again in 2018 I had a UTI (urinary tract infection) and after visiting the doctor, I again was prescribed medication, but I was still unable to pass water. That same evening, I went to the Accident and Emergency department and had a catheter inserted again. After a number of tests and having my prostate size measured (then being told that it was much enlarged), the consultant informed me that I needed an operation to reduce the size of my prostate. I was to be put on the urgent list.

Red laser surgery is available in my area and because I was catheterised, I was told I would be on the urgent list for surgery. I asked how long the wait would be and was told the ordinary waiting list was about three months. So I felt pretty hopeful, as I was an urgent case, thinking it would be less than that.

I am an electrical supervisor, so I spend my working life on my feet on building sites. I was finding this increasingly difficult to carry on working until I reached a stage in summer 2018 when I found I could hardly walk to my car at the end of the day. I was in the most horrible pain imaginable.

I didn’t hear anything from the hospital for six months. By that time, I’d had another UTI and was beginning to feel desperate. It was very difficult working while wearing a catheter. We were getting nowhere with our local hospital, so my wife went online to look for an alternative. That was how we came to the Birmingham Prostate Clinic.

Everything about it was impressive. Mr Doherty started by doing a full review of my notes and pin-pointed a page dated 2013. He told me – that’s when you should have had your operation. A normal prostate weighs 30-60 grams; mine was 127 grams seven months before I came to the Birmingham Prostate Clinic. Mr Doherty said he was very experienced in using Greenlight laser for large prostates and explained he would use the highest levels of power and energy to achieve the best outcome for me.

I was in surgery for two and a half hours. Then they used 40 litres of saline solution to thoroughly wash out the whole area. The next morning, the nurse took off my catheter and I passed urine for the first time around 8 am. I didn’t have the slightest bit of pain or discomfort, not the day after surgery nor at any stage that followed. Having worn a catheter for 11 months, I was finally able to pee normally, just like I could as a younger man.

I can stand up all day at work without any problems and I’m back doing Tai Chi which I’ve enjoyed for some time.  I started practising my Tai Chi when I was recovering in hospital I found that it helped me to relax and focus on getting better. Previously, when my prostate was enlarged, I had to stop doing Tai Chi totally, which was devastating.

Coming to The Birmingham Prostate Clinic for Greenlight laser treatment was the best decision I’ve ever made. It was no problem travelling to Birmingham from Bedfordshire; I like driving and if you are going to have an operation, you want it to be done by a national expert who has done more than 1,000 procedures, rather than someone working in your local hospital who may have done a handful. I will be forever grateful to Mr Doherty.”