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Many thanks to Dr Jimmy Lam for his contribution this week regarding the use of GreenLight laser therapy for the management of urinary symptoms related to an enlarged prostate. Dr Lam is a consultant urologist specialising in laparoscopy (keyhole surgery), robotic surgery and laser treatment for enlarged prostates. He works at Calvary North Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia.

The Greenlight Laser prostatectomy program was first established in Adelaide, South Australia in January 2011 with the assistance and mentorship of Dr Charles Chabert. The Greenlight Laser is used to treat water work troubles in men due to benign prostate enlargement.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common non-cancerous condition that affects most men as they get older. So much so that by the age of 80 , over 80% of men may suffers from the symptoms of BPH. Enlargement of the prostate can cause narrowing of the urine tube as it passes through the prostate. The obstruction of the urine flow can cause troublesome symptoms including:

– Frequent urination
– Weak flow of urine
– Trouble starting the flow of urine
– Inability to empty the bladder
– Having to strain to urinate

In more severe cases it may also cause:
– Complete blockage of urine
– Recurrent urinary tract infection
– Recurrent passage of blood from the prostate
– Impairment of kidney functions

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a very common and effective surgical management for BPH that has been around for close to 100 yrs. Greenlight Laser Prostatectomy was developed over a decade ago and the current 3rd generation 180W XPS laser is the most powerful and effective Greenlight Laser developed to date. This procedure has demonstrated excellent outcomes and at least as effective as traditional TURP with reduced risks of complications including lower risk of bleeding, shorter catheter time, reduced hospital length of stay and quicker recovery.

The Greenlight laser prostatectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laser fibre which delivers high power laser energy to vaporize the prostate tissue and at the same time sealing any superficial blood vessels on the prostate to stop any significant bleeding. Because of its haemostatic properties, Greenlight Laser Prostatectomy procedure can be performed safely in patients who need to remain on blood thinning medications such as aspirin, plavix or warfarin. Most patient will have a general anaesthetic and a catheter is placed at the end of the procedure. Majority of patient requires only an overnight stay in hospital, catheter will be removed prior to discharge and patients can return to normal activity within a few days. After the procedure most patients will experience small amount of blood in the urine, some mild degree of discomfort such as frequency, urgency and mild burning during urination but these are usually short lived.

If you are concerns about your urinary symptoms, the first step is to make an appointment see you GP to discuss your symptoms further.

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