Greenlight laser surgery improved my memory

Treatment for the enlarged prostate improved my memory. A 72-year-old at BPC describes his experience of GreenLight laser surgery.

“Looking back on the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), although it was irksome having to go to the toilet so often during the day, it was getting up several times at night that was really trying. I would need to get up and go to the toilet two or three times each night. The first time, at 1 or 2 am was not too bad because I’d be able to get straight back to sleep. But getting up again at 3:30 am or 4 am, I’d find I couldn’t get back to sleep. By that time, getting up again took the edge off sleep and I’d be wide awake. Your mind starts to wander and at that time in the morning, you find things to worry about because your mind isn’t at its best. Cumulatively, you become habitually sleep-deprived, never getting close to getting the recommended amount of good, deep sleep.

BPH is something that gradually creeps up on you, but it was during the last two years (I’m now 72) that it really started to get me down. I’d tried medication a few years ago but hadn’t got on with it and came to the Birmingham Prostate Clinic after reading about a new treatment. I wasn’t particularly set on that treatment, but I did want to find a better, permanent solution.

I was recommended GreenLight laser treatment for the enlarged prostate by Mr Docherty and could see its advantages for me. From a personal perspective, I did feel nervous about the prospect of staying in hospital overnight for the first time since 1947 and having my first ever general anaesthetic.

Immediately after surgery, I felt a little disorientated, but there was no real pain or discomfort. Straight away, my flow was considerably improved. In terms of recovery, I would say two weeks was the big turning point: blood in the urine was much reduced and I felt significantly better. By two to four weeks, I reached the stage of feeling so well that I’d forget I had recently had an operation.

The difference was very tangible. We have a journey of one hour and 45 minutes from our home in the Cotswolds to our daughter’s in south-west London. Before treatment, I would arrive desperate to go to the toilet. Whereas recently, we travelled from 6 pm through to 1 am without any need to get to the toilet. My GreenLight laser procedure seems to have restored the same kind of function that I had as a young man.

I noticed my memory was improving about two weeks after the procedure when I had settled into a better sleeping pattern. My wife has a very good memory and I had got into the habit of relying on her to remember people’s names, book titles and all the details that can escape you. I found I was asking her less because my memory was improving, and this was something that my wife noticed too. I know my memory has always tended to be better in the morning rather than in the evening, once I am feeling tired, so it makes sense that cognition is closely linked to the quality of sleep you are having.

GreenLight laser treatment for BPH has been a great success; I would recommend it without hesitation. There have been the expected benefits of being able to manage long journeys, of going out without mapping out every nearby toilet and having a function that I remember as a young man. Additionally, with much better sleep, there has been a noticeable improvement in my memory which wasn’t expected but is a very welcome benefit of treatment.”