If you are a man aged 50 or older you've got at least a fifty-fifty chance of having an enlarged prostate. It's a condition called BPH, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. The good news is it is not a killer, but the bad news is it can make your life miserable.
"I was getting up in the middle of the night, running to the bathroom 4 to 5 times in the evening." said Allen Fritz, a prostate patient. Medications to shrink or relax the prostate are the usual first line of treatment and if that doesn't work, there are a lot of minimally invasive procedures that may fix the problem. But, here's what's new.
It's a high powered green-light laser that literally vaporizes the excess prostate tissue and more importantly, because the wavelength of light is absorbed by blood, it can also seal off blood vessels. Which makes it an almost bloodless procedure. "It's able to treat more higher risk patients, patients who are high risk for surgery because these patients don't bleed as much, so we can treat older and older patients," said Urologist Te Alexis.
Allen Fritz then said he has had good progress from the surgery so far. "Well no sexual loss, no dribbling. I feel like a new man and I feel I can urinate like I was 15 years old." Most patients, like Allen, go home the same day, usually without a catheter and with low rates of incontinence or impotence. There is a doctor in Amarillo using the greenlight laser for BPH, if or when, it becomes available in Lubbock, we'll let you know.