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If you are man with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) and you need surgery, you and your urologist have a variety of surgical options from which to choose. Results of a recent survey of urologists found that of a dozen surgical techniques for BPH, urologists prefer open prostatectomy and TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) over others.
TURP involves threading a thin wire through the urethra to the prostate, at which time an electrical current is sent through the wire. This allows the surgeon to slice away any tissue that is blocking the urethra, which then frees up urine flow. Open prostatectomy involves removal of the entire prostate.
Although there have been a number of technological advances in the realm of surgical options for BPH, the urologists who responded to this survey (570 who currently performed BPH surgery out of about 5,500 urologists contacted) were most likely to use open prostatectomy (78%) and TURP (73%).
The survey also showed that higher volume surgeons were more likely to use higher-tech procedures, such as holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP), diode laser vaporization of the prostate (photo-selective vaporization, holmium laser ablation of the prostate (HoLAP), and thalium laser ablation.
This survey revealed that although there have been many advances in the field of surgical options for BPH, most urologists still turn to open prostatectomy and TURP. Laser therapies are emerging, however, and men who need to consider surgery for BPH should be sure to ask their healthcare provider about all the options available to them.
Lee NG et al. Trends and attitudes in surgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Canadian Journal of Urology 2012 Apr; 19(2): 6170-75