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GreenLight Prostate Surgery
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Men undergoing surgery for benign prostate enlargement with a prostate-shrinking laser at New Hanover Regional Medical Center are now being given the green light, literally, to return home within hours of their procedure.

So called because of the wavelength of light it emits, the GreenLight Laser vaporizes prostate tissue around the urethra, increasing urinary flow while all but eliminating bleeding and the need for inpatient hospitalization.

“What used to be a three-day hospital stay for the surgical treatment of benign prostate enlargement has now become a three-hour hospital stay,” said Dr. William Russell, a Wilmington urologist with Urology Associates of Southeastern North Carolina.

The laser therapy, in use at NHRMC, is primarily used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, also called benign prostate enlargement, a non-cancerous condition in men that can interrupt urine flow and cause bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems.

"The high-temperature laser vaporizes the prostate tissue instantly and in doing so seals off the blood vessels,” said Dr. Russell. “There’s virtually no bleeding, which means a shorter hospital stay and generally a quicker, less painful recovery.”

The GreenLight procedure supplants older treatment methods for enlarged prostate, including microwave thermotherapy, hot water-induced

 

thermotherapy, various medications and, for more than 70 years the gold standard of treatments, Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate, or TURP.

"The TURP procedure is still effective and widely used,” said Dr. Russell, “but the drawbacks are blood loss and overnight hospitalization.”

Approximately one-half of all men will be treated for enlarged prostate during the course of their lifetime, with one-quarter of those eventually requiring surgery of some kind, said Dr. Russell. Medication is often the first course of treatment.

“But when medications fail or become cost-prohibitive over the long run, surgery is usually the next recommended course of treatment,” said Dr. Russell. “The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and usually lasts less than an hour, with patients returning to normal activities within a week.”

A walnut-sized gland, the prostate is located beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum in men and forms a part of the male reproductive organ. In most men the prostate increases in size after age 40 due to changes in male hormonal levels.

Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health report benign prostatic hyperplasia affects more than 50 percent of men over age 60 and as many as 90 percent of men over the age of 70.

For information on a physician referral for enlarged prostate, please contact VitaLine at 815.5188.

 

 

 
 

 

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also called benign prostate enlargement, is a non-cancerous condition in men that can interrupt urine flow and cause bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems. BPH is the most common disorder of the prostate and the most common health concern for men over 60 in the United States. The non-cancerous condition affects more than 26 million men each year in the United States.

 

The GreenLight Laser at New Hanover Regional
Medical Center, so called because of the wavelength
of light it emits, treats a condition in men called
benign prostate enlargement. Benefits over more
traditional therapies like Trans Urethral Resection
of the Prostate, or TURP, include shorter hospital
stay, less pain and quicker recovery.

   

In Need of Urologic Care?

The following is a list of local urology practices that can advise on benign prostate enlargement, in addition to a range of other urological conditions and their treatments:


 

Typical signs and symptoms of benign prostate enlargement include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • An urgent need to urinate
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Dribbling or leaking after urination
  • Feeling that the bladder never completely empties
  • Weak urine stream
 
2131 S. 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401  |  910.343.7000