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Urology. 2012 May;79(5):1111-6. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2011.11.084.

National trends in surgical therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia in the United States (2000-2008).

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Department of Urology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.



To report an update of the change in usage trends for different surgical treatments of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) among the United States Medicare population data from 2000-2008. The rate of usage of thermotherapy and laser therapy in the surgical treatment of BPH has been changing over the past decade in conjunction with a steady decrease of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).


Using the 100% Medicare carrier file for the years 2000-2008, we calculated counts and population-adjusted rates of BPH surgery. Rates of TURP, thermotherapy, and laser-using modalities were calculated and compared in relation to age, race, clinical setting, and reimbursement.


After years of a steady rise, the total rate of all BPH procedures peaked in 2005 at 1078/100,000 and then declined by 15.4% to 912/100,000 in 2008. TURP rates continued to decline from 670 in 2000 to 351/100,000 in 2008. Rates of microwave thermoablation peaked in 2006 at 266/100,000 and then declined 26% in 2008. Laser vaporization almost completely replaced laser coagulation and in 2008 was the most commonly performed procedure second to TURP, with the majority performed as outpatient procedures (70%) and an increasing percentage in the office (12%). Men between ages 70 and 75 had the highest rate of procedures. Reimbursement rates correlate using some but not all procedures. Racial disparities reported previously appear to have resolved.


Surgical treatment of BPH continues to change rapidly. TURP continues to decline and laser vaporization is the fastest growing modality. There is a big shift toward outpatient/office procedures. Reimbursement rates do not appear to have a consistent effect on usage.

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