What to expect: Greenlight Laser

What is greenlight laser prostate surgery?

In this operation, we use a high-powered greenlight laser to selectively vaporise the prostate tissue that is obstructing the urinary outflow from the bladder.  There are no cuts or incisions – the surgery is done with an instrument through the urethra.  It is performed with you asleep (general anaesthesia) or numb from the waist down (spinal anaesthesia).

The main advantage of using the laser is that there is very little bleeding.  The greenlight laser is my preferred surgical technique for most patients with benign prostate enlargement.  Currently, I perform greenlight laser surgery at Epworth Freemasons private hospital, and St Vincent’s Public hospital.

How long is the procedure?

This depends on the size of the prostate gland, and can be anywhere from under 30 minutes to over 2 hours.

How long will I be in hospital?

Most men have an overnight stay in hospital.  The urinary catheter is then removed, and you will go home when we are happy than you are passing urine OK.

What is the post-operative recovery like?

The early days and weeks after prostate surgery can be challenging.  Relief of the obstruction is immediate, but the bladder will take some time to settle back to normal.

Stinging and burning while passing urine will resolve, but can persist for some time.

Blood in the urine  and debris in the urine are normal and will settle with time.

Having to go to the toilet frequently is also common.

There are some things you can do to aid your recovery:

  • Avoid heavy lifting in the first 6 weeks after your surgery
  • Maintain a healthy fluid intake
  • Ural sachets made into a drink will reduce the acidity of the urine, and can help with stinging and burning

If you have any concerns at home after your surgery, you can contact the rooms for advice.  If I am not available, you may be able to speak with one of our experienced urology nurses.