Sixty-seven-year-old David of Brooklyn Center still enjoyed his accounting job, except for one thing: He couldn’t participate in meetings for more than 45 minutes without needing to use the restroom. And he was up at least four or five times during the night to go to the bathroom. He was sleepy and irritable.
For most men older than 50, an enlarged prostate is a fact of life. The enlargement varies and may not be a problem. In fact, many men experience a benign growth of the gland, which is located beneath a man’s bladder and produces semen fluid.
Enlarged prostate problems
Because the tube that connects the bladder and allows urine to flow from the penis passes through the prostate, some men with an enlarged prostate experience issues with urination. Problems include:
- the inability to start urination
- the frequent or urgent need to urinate GreenLight provides faster recovery
- not being able to empty the bladder completely.
These can lead to:
- bladder or urinary tract infections
- bladder stone formation
- kidney problems
- insomnia from getting up multiple times to urinate at night.
“Some men can get relief of enlarged prostate symptoms from medicines that can help to open the urinary tube,” said Gregory Hanson, MD, a urologist with Allina Medical Clinic — Midwest Surgery who cares for patients at Mercy and Unity hospitals. “When those medicines don’t work and the symptoms are bothersome, a new laser therapy procedure may be able to provide relief.”
Enlarged prostate procedures
For many years the procedure known as transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP, was the common option for an enlarged prostate. With TURP, the prostate gland is surgically reduced, opening the space for the urethra tube. Now patients can receive GreenLight™ Laser Therapy, an effective surgery option with fewer side effects.
“GreenLight Laser Therapy is a newer, minimally invasive surgery option that has improved the traditional TURP operation for enlarged prostate,” Hanson explained. “Patients recover sooner and can go home only hours after the laser-based TURP procedure. And they can resume normal activities within days.”
GreenLight Laser Therapy was developed by American Medical Systems, a company based in Minnetonka that makes urology-related medical products. Hanson completed specialty training for GreenLight Laser Therapy and has developed an expertise in laser, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgeries.