Laser prostate surgery involves the insertion of a thin fiber laser into the urethra to remove enlarged prostate tissue. This is considered minimally invasive surgery because it does not involve cutting into the pelvic area to remove excess prostate tissue. Even though laser surgery is considered minimally invasive, there are common side effects that occur after the procedure.


Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) were used to carry out prostate surgery prior to the introduction of laser prostate surgery. Laser surgery, or green light laser surgery as it is called, causes the least amount of post-surgery complications. This type of surgery also causes the least amount of damage to the remaining prostate tissue after removal of excess tissue. Going home after laser prostate surgery occurs within a few hours, compared to TURP and TUIP. These two invasive surgery techniques require the patient to remain in the hospital for up to four days following surgery. Length of stay is based on the patient's recovery and return of bladder function.


Common side effects that some patients experience from the laser prostate surgery include urinary tract infections, increased and severe urges to urinate, and loss of bladder control or incontinence. On occasions the laser surgery will cause scar tissue to form in the urethra and bladder, causing blockages and an inability to urinate. The only way to remove scar tissue is through surgery. Another side effect is called retrograde ejaculation, where the semen is released into the bladder rather than through the urethra. This occurs when the bladder sphincter is too weak as a result of removing prostate tissue or was damaged during laser surgery. This side effect is a serious concern for men and their partners who still want to have children, since only surgery corrects the problem.


The preferred treatment for an enlarged prostrate is laser surgery, because it is normally completed as an outpatient procedure. Also, the results are typically immediate and long lasting in most men. The patient loses little blood, has rapid return of full urine flow, fewer side effects, rapid improvement in quality of life and a faster return to normal activities.


Seeking immediate medical assistance is recommended as soon as symptoms of an enlarged prostate are detected. These symptoms include the need to urinate frequently, urinating often at night, trouble urinating, feeling like the bladder is never empty, weak urine stream, dribbling and leaking.


Ignoring the problems associated with an enlarged prostate only makes the problem get worse, because the prostate keeps on growing as men age. In many cases, an enlarged prostate is benign or noncancerous. Failing to seek medical attention may lead to a more serious condition or even prostate cancer as the enlarged prostate continues to grow.