Greenlight Laser Treatment of BPH

The GreenLight Laser is used in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as enlargement of the Prostate.  GreenLight laser treatment is a therapy that evaporates prostatic tissue which is blocking the outlet of the bladder. It is performed under anesthesia by placing a telescope into the urethra up to the level of the prostate. The laser fiber is guided through the scope and the prostate tissue is then quickly and gently vaporized. Other names for the procedure include photovaporization of the prostate or photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) or laser ablation of the prostate. You may also see the GreenLight laser referred to as a KTP laser.

The University of Virginia has dedictated physicians who are trained in the use of the GreenLight laser.  Click here for more information on the GreenLight Laser team.

How does GreenLight differ from other laser treatments of the prostate?

Several other laser therapies exist. Interstitial laser therapy (Indigo) is a type of thermotherapy that heats the prostate tissue, but does not vaporize or remove it. Holmium laser therapy (Lumenis) is another high power laser that evaporates tissue in a procedure similar to the GreenLight. At the University of Virginia, we use the new GreenLight HPS system, which is a higher powered  (120 Watts) version of the original GreenLight laser (80 Watts) made by LaserScope/AMS. The higher powered GreenLight HPS allows the surgeon to remove more of the obstructing prostate tissue in a shorter time than the older GreenLight system.

Is GreenLight treatment right for me?

There are a variety of options for men with non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These may include: observation, medications, thermotherapies, or surgical therapy. The treatment is individualized based on patient symptoms and underlying medical conditions. You should speak to your physician about which treatment is right for you. For patients in whom surgical therapy is recommended, GreenLight is often an appropriate choice and carries fewer risks than the traditional transurethral resection or open prostatectomy.  For individuals with malignant prostate disease, or prostate cancer, other options are available. The University of Virginia provides state of the art prostate disease and prostate cancer treatment through the da Vinci Prostatectomy Program.

What type of anesthetic is used?

In most cases patients undergoing GreenLight Laser treatment will have either general anesthetic or spinal anesthetic with sedation. The choice should be made by you in consultation with your surgeon and the anesthesia provider.

What type of complications can occur?

While GreenLight Laser has fewer complications than other surgical treatments, side effects of the treatment still occur. The GreenLight laser has been shown to have shorter hospital stays and fewer complications than traditional prostate surgery.  As with all prostate surgery, sexual side effects may include retrograde ejaculation, and in rare instances, erectile dysfunction (impotence). Patients may experience problems holding urine (incontinence) which may be related to the surgery or to changes in the bladder related to the enlarged prostate.  Rare episodes of strictures (scar tissue build up) have been noted in the urethra.

What can I expect after the GreenLight procedure?

After the procedure, you will usually have a catheter placed in your bladder that is usually removed in 1-3 days. Some patients may go home the same day, others may stay for an overnight visit.

How do I make an appointment to speak with a physician?

Please call 434-924-2224 for a general appointment. Or for a specific physician, please view our “Contact Us” page.

Additional information on the Greenlight Laser HPS System can be found at the industry sponsored Laserscope website.