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J Urol. 1999 Nov;162(5):1640-4.

Holmium laser versus transurethral resection of the prostate: a randomized prospective trial with 1-year followup.

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Urology Department, Tauranga Hospital, New Zealand.



The high-powered holmium:YAG laser can be used for incision, ablation and resection of the prostate. The technique of holmium laser resection of the prostate is compared to transurethral prostatic resection for surgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia in this prospective randomized study.


A total of 120 urodynamically obstructed cases were randomized to holmium laser or transurethral prostatic resection. All eligible patients were assessed preoperatively and at 3 weeks, and 3, 6 and 12 months postoperatively with an American Urological Association symptom score, peak urinary flow rate, and questionnaires concerning sexual function and continence. Preoperative pressure flow study, ultrasound prostate volume assessment and post-void residual volume measurement were repeated at the 6-month visit. All complications were noted.


Holmium laser and transurethral resections resulted in significant improvements in symptom score, quality of life score, peak urinary flow rate and post-void residual urine measurements. Operating time was significantly longer in the holmium group but nursing contact time, catheter time and hospital stay were significantly less compared to the transurethral prostatic resection group. Urodynamic results were equivalent at 6 months. There were fewer side effects in the holmium group. Effects on continence, potency and symptoms were similar with 1-year followup.


Holmium and transurethral resections of the prostate appear to be equivalent in surgical management of bladder outflow obstruction due to benign prostate hyperplasia. Perioperative morbidity was less in the holmium group.

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