Kettering General Hospital has introduced a new laser operation to help patients who need treatment for benign enlargement of the prostate.
The treatment is called photoselective vaporisation of the prostate (PVP) and entails using a green light laser to reduce the size of enlarged prostates.
Enlarged prostates are very common affecting 60 per cent of men over the age of 60.
Symptoms are restricted urine flow, dribbling and frequent and urgent urination.
Where symptoms are not responding to medical treatment the traditional treatment has been surgery to reduce the size of the prostate – using an operation called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
However this entails one-and-a-half hours of surgery, an average three day stay in hospital, and a risk of surgical complications such as bleeding.
We believe this is the first time this treatment has been offered in Northamptonshire and in the East MidlandsMr Mohammed Al-Sudani
By comparison the laser treatment takes about 45 minutes to perform, length of stay would be no more than one day, and in September the trust began performing the operation as a day case procedure.
The hospital’s consultant urologist, Mr Mohammed Al-Sudani, said: “This is a fantastic new way for us to address the problem of benign prostatic bladder outflow obstruction.
“The laser literally turns the enlarged tissue into gas and vaporises it.
“It does not have the bleeding and associated complications of using surgery to reduce the size of the prostate.
“For patients it is a great benefit because it enables a shorter stay and there should be less side effects and a quicker recovery.
“There is usually an almost immediate improvement to the urinary stream, shorter and more efficient trips to the toilet, reduced frequency and less night visits.”
It is expected that about half of the 168 surgical interventions for benign prostate enlargement that the hospital carries out each year would be suitable for the new laser treatment.
Mr Al-Sudani said: “We believe this is the first time this treatment has been offered in Northamptonshire and in the East Midlands.
“The first patients were treated at Kettering General Hospital earlier this year and from September we have started performing this operation as a day case procedure.
“We hope this will become a more common treatment because, overall, it costs the NHS less than TURP surgery because of the reduced length of stay in hospital.
“Another advantage is that it creates greater bed availability at the hospital through reduced length of stay compared to the traditional surgical alternative.”