Current techniques for laser prostatectomy--PVP and HoLEP

Arch Esp Urol. 2008 Nov;61(9):1005-13. doi: 10.4321/s0004-06142008000900009.


Objectives: The objective of this review is to provide an evidence-based update on laser surgery for BPH with a focus on comparing Greenlight Photoselective Vaporisation of the Prostate (PVP) to Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP).

Methods: We reviewed all HoLEP and PVP papers identified by a Pubmed search using the keywords: laser, prostate, BPH, holmium, HoLE, PVP and greenlight. The published randomised trials investigating HoLEP and PVP are summarised. As there are no head to head randomised trials comparing HoLEP to PVP, we compare data from individual HoLEP and PVP papers. Data on multiple aspects of laser surgery for BPH are summarised and contrasted for the 2 procedures including: Perioperative management, subjective and objective measures of success, complications, sexual function, prostate volume reduction, durability, and surgery for men with large prostates and those in urinary retention.

Results/conclusions: PVP and HoLEP are very different laser techniques. An important difference between the Greenlight laser and holmium and thulium is that its only urological application is prostate ablation. HoLEP is the most advanced laser technique currently available. In contrast to PVP, it has been rigorously evaluated in 8 randomised trials. It is a size independent procedure suitable for any prostate, and highly effective at treating urinary retention. HoLEP has been reported to be durable to periods up to 6 years. More tissue is removed with HoLEP than PVP and this raises concerns regarding the long term durability of PVP for which there is no comparable data. The increase in HoLEP expertise worldwide and the development of lasers that are faster at ablating tissue and have other urological uses (eg thulium) may threaten the longevity of Greenlight PVP.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Prostatectomy / methods*