A review of the recent evidence (2006-2008) for 532-nm photoselective laser vaporisation and holmium laser enucleation of the prostate

Eur Urol. 2009 Jun;55(6):1345-57. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2009.03.070. Epub 2009 Apr 3.


Context: Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) and 532-nm laser vaporisation of the prostate (with potassium titanyl phosphate [KTP] or lithium borate [LBO]) are promising alternatives to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and open prostatectomy (OP).

Objective: To assess safety, efficacy, and durability by analysing the most recent evidence of both techniques, aiming to identify advantages, pitfalls, and unresolved issues.

Evidence acquisition: A Medline search of recently published data (2006-2008) regarding both techniques over the last 2 yr (January 2006 to September 2008) was performed using evidence obtained from randomised trials (level of evidence: 1b), well-designed controlled studies without randomisation (level of evidence: 2a), individual cohort studies (level of evidence: 2b), individual case control studies (level of evidence: 3), and case series (level of evidence: 4).

Evidence synthesis: In the last 2 yr, several case-control and cohort studies have demonstrated reproducibility, safety, and efficacy of HoLEP and 80-W KTP laser vaporisation. Four randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were available for HoLEP, two compared with TURP and two compared with OP, with follow-up >24 mo. Results confirmed general efficacy and durability of HoLEP, as compared with both standard techniques. Only two RCTs were available comparing KTP laser vaporisation with TURP with short-term follow-up, and only one RCT was available comparing KTP laser vaporisation with OP. The results confirmed the overall low perioperative morbidity of KTP laser vaporisation, although efficacy was comparable to TURP in the short term, despite a higher reoperation rate.

Conclusions: Although they are at different points of maturation, KTP or LBO laser vaporisation and HoLEP are promising alternatives to both TURP and OP. Sufficient data proves HoLEP's durability for most prostate sizes at long-term follow-up; KTP laser vaporisation needs further evaluation to define the reoperation rate. Increasing the number of quality prospective RCTs with adequate follow-up is mandatory to tailor each technique to the right patient.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatectomy / methods*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / surgery*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Transurethral Resection of Prostate / methods
  • Treatment Outcome