Treatment for enlarged prostate

Mens Health Check

The prostate gland lies at the base of the bladder surrounding the urethra (or water pipe). As a man grows older, the prostate enlarges and as it does so, obstructs the urethra.

Symptoms of enlarged prostate

Patients may notice a reduction in urinary flow, a sensation of incomplete bladder emptying and a need to pass urine more often. In the early stages the condition can be managed with medication, but as the prostate continues to grow surgery eventually becomes necessary.


Traditionally a trans-urethral resection (TURP) operation has been performed for this. In this procedure a current is passed through a loop wire heating it up and the prostate is cut up in to chips which are then washed out through the urethra. The operation works very well but there is some bleeding and patients often have to spend 2 days or more in hospital afterwards until this has settled down.

Green Light Laser

New technologies have been developed in order to make the operation more efficient, including the use of lasers. Some lasers, such as the green light laser, are used to ablate part of the prostate, when a cavity is burnt into the prostate by a laser in order to widen the opening and allow the urine to flow better. This technology has now been surpassed by newer methods. 

Latest technology now available at Oaks Hospital

Holmium Laser Treatment

A more sophisticated laser is the Holmium Laser. This acts as a very precise cutting tool and allows the prostate to be shelled out of its capsule. The procedure is called a Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP). Several international trials have shown that the holmium laser procedure removes far more tissue than with conventional prostate operations with very little bleeding and a significantly shorter hospital stay.

Benefits of Holmium Laser Treatment

There are many advantages to this procedure compared to alternatives -

  • Laser enulceation is suitable for prostates of all sizes and comes into its own with the larger and more difficult prostates that used to need removal through an open surgical operation. There is now no upper limit to the size of prostate that can be operated on
  • Post surgery there is very little bleeding
  • Most patients who have this procedure will be catheter free within 24 hours
  • Hospital stay can consequently be less than 24 hours for the majority of patients
  • No further treatment required for at least 10 years in most cases

After the operation patients usually experience rapid relief from their symptoms. Not all hospitals in the UK have adopted this procedure as the state of the art equipment is expensive and special training has to be undertaken in order to perform it. Investment in this technology at the Oaks Hospital means the procedure is well established here. 

Contact our Hospital Services Advisers on 01206 987669 or via the online form for further details of urology treatments at the Oaks Hospital and how to make an appointment.

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