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Can Urol Assoc J. 2008 Apr;2(2):124-34.

Photoselective vaporization of the prostate for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.



In recent years, laser treatments have re-emerged as options for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This paper reviews the safety, efficacy, effectiveness and economics of photoselective vapourization of the prostate (PVP), compared with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).


We conducted a comprehensive literature search to identify 14 studies comparing 80 W PVP and TURP. We then reviewed and pooled these studies.


We identified 12 adverse events or complications; rates were similar in both groups. No PVP patient required a blood transfusion; 5%-11% of TURP patients did. PVP patients had a significantly lower likelihood of clot retention. Collectively, the 14 studies led to the conclusion that PVP is a safe procedure. PVP is favourable to TURP regarding length of hospitalization and catheterization times. There were no meaningful differences in operation times, reoperation rates, peak flow rates, postresidual volumes or quality of life scores. Sexual function and prostate specific antigen value changes were similar. Four economic evaluations of PVP and TURP (from Canada, Switzerland, Australia and the United States) concluded that PVP is less costly per case than TURP. Cost differences are attributable to disposables, capital equipment and hospitalization. Based on our analysis of limited Canadian data, the cost of PVP is estimated to be about one-half that of TURP, even after accounting for start-up costs.


The 80 W PVP laser appears to be a viable treatment for BPH. With the recent regulatory approval of the 120 W High Performance System (HPS), an additional option has become available. Therefore, it is anticipated that PVP will soon be considered part of a physician's repertoire for managing BPH.


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