Author(s): Fried NM
The recent introduction of higher power 100 W holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Ho:YAG) and 80 W potassium titanyl phosphate lasers for rapid incision and vaporization of the prostate has resulted in renewed interest in the use of lasers for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although long-term studies are still lacking, short-term results demonstrate that these procedures are at least as safe and effective in relieving BPH symptoms as transurethral resection of the prostate and may provide reduced morbidity. Other laser techniques, such as interstitial laser coagulation and contact laser vaporization of the prostate, have lost popularity due to complications with increased catheterization time, irritative symptoms, and infection rates. Although Ho:YAG laser enucleation of the prostate is more difficult to learn and a slower procedure than potassium titanyl phosphate laser vaporization, the Ho:YAG laser is currently the most proven laser technique for BPH treatment. This article reviews the latest developments in laser treatment of BPH over the past 2 years and provides a view toward the future of lasers in the treatment of BPH.