My Greenlight laser surgery: “No pain, no problems, everything working: job very well done.” Stephen Cresswell, aged 71

Greenlight Laser Surgery

“I read an article in the newspaper about PSA tests for prostate cancer in my local town hall and went along. My results were normal for my age, but I went home with some information which described certain symptoms.

I recognised some of the symptoms: occasionally, I would dribble a little urine at night. I was also aware that at times, I would have an overwhelming need to get to the toilet very quickly. It started while I was still working and could be very inconvenient. But these problems developed gradually and I just put it down to getting older.

Reading about these symptoms made me think I should see my GP about them. Again, my PSA level was normal, but my Creatinine levels (used to measure kidney function) were raised. I was sent for a scan to investigate the cause and I was astonished to be told that I was carrying two litres of urine in my bladder. This was being retained because I was unable to empty my bladder properly even though I had no discomfort or anything to suggest this was happening. My prostate had become so enlarged that it was restricting the urethra and preventing the normal flow of urine; a significant portion was ‘backing up’ into my kidneys.

The worst shock came when I saw a doctor to discuss it. He told me I would need to wear a catheter for the rest of my life, which was devastating. I am fortunate that my  daughter works for a specialist company supplying catheter components to hospital urologists. Her reaction was: “We’re not having that” and she recommended I go to see Alan Doherty.

When I saw Mr Doherty, I was absolutely stunned by his efficiency and the way he treated me; I was absolutely convinced I was in good hands and that something could be done. Mr Doherty explained that although I had a large prostate and was in retention, the technique he uses for GreenLight laser surgery would be highly suitable for me.

I had my surgery at Warwickshire Nuffield Hospital in Leamington Spa at the start of March (2017). Pre-operation tests showed I had a urinary infection, which was the second infection I’d developed. This is a known risk of wearing a catheter. Mr Doherty was very confident that a course of antibiotics combined with the procedure would address the infection.

Once I came round from surgery, my system was thoroughly flushed with saline and then the catheter removed. I had a drink and the urine I passed was measured to check whether I was fully emptying my bladder. Everything worked fine and was within the normal range. I had gone into hospital for 8:30am on the Friday morning and by 2:30pm the following day, I was back home, relaxing in our conservatory.

I was given painkillers but I can honestly say I didn’t need them; there was no pain at any stage, only very mild irritation sometimes when I passed urine. I followed instructions to take it easy for the first two weeks after surgery but felt a bit guilty, because I felt fine and capable of doing things. After that, I got back to all my usual activities, such as playing in a table tennis league and gardening.

Mr Doherty took some tissue samples during the procedure and had them tested for prostate cancer. I had the all clear there too. All I can say is that I am thrilled and it was a job very well done: no pain, no problems, everything working normally – I couldn’t have asked for more.”