In March 1996, the FDA approved a BPH surgery that employs side-firing laser fibers and Nd:YAG lasers to vaporize obstructing prostate tissue. The doctor passes the laser fiber through the urethra into the prostate using a cystoscope, and then delivers several bursts of energy lasting 30 to 60 seconds. The laser energy destroys prostate tissue and causes shrinkage.
Like TURP, laser surgery requires anesthesia and a hospital stay. One advantage of laser surgery over TURP is that laser surgery causes little blood loss. Laser surgery also allows for a quicker recovery time. However, laser surgery may not be effective on larger prostates.
The long-term effectiveness of laser BPH surgery is not known.
If you have BPH surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital. This depends on the type of surgery you had and how quickly you recover.
At the end of BPH surgery, a special catheter is inserted through the opening of the penis to drain urine from the bladder into a collection bag. This device, called a Foley catheter, has a water-filled balloon on the end that is placed in the bladder, which holds it in place.
This catheter is usually left in place for several days after the BPH surgery. Sometimes, the catheter causes recurring painful bladder spasms the day after surgery. These may be difficult to control, but they will eventually disappear.
You may also be given antibiotics while you are in the hospital. Many doctors start giving this medicine before or soon after surgery to prevent infection. However, some recent studies suggest that antibiotics may not be needed in every case, and your doctor may prefer to wait until an infection is present to give them.
After BPH surgery, you will probably notice some blood or clots in your urine as the wound starts to heal. If your bladder is being irrigated (flushed with water), you may notice that your urine becomes red once the irrigation is stopped. Some bleeding is normal, and it should clear up by the time you leave the hospital. During your recovery, it is important to drink a lot of water (up to 8 cups a day) to help flush out the bladder and speed healing.