Are all procedures for benign prostatic hyperplasia created equal? A systematic review on post-procedural PSA dynamics and its correlation with relief of bladder outlet obstruction

World J Urol. 2022 Apr;40(4):889-905. doi: 10.1007/s00345-021-03771-w. Epub 2021 Jul 2.


Purpose: To evaluate and provide a comprehensive literature review of Prostate specific antigen (PSA) dynamics after various surgical procedures for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Methods: A thorough PubMed database search was performed over last 30 years including terms "PSA" and various surgical procedures for BPH. PSA nadir after various procedure was evaluated. The post-operative improvement in International Prostate Symptom Score, maximum void rates and post-void residue after surgeries were recorded. An indirect correlation was made between PSA nadir and outcome of various BPH surgical procedures.

Results: Enucleation procedures like simple prostatectomy and endoscopic enucleation of prostate (EEP) produced maximum drop in PSA level after surgery and were associated with the highest improvement in post-operative parameters. The PSA nadir following resection techniques like transurethral resection of prostate and Holmium laser resection of prostate and vaporization technique was variable and less robust when compared to EEP. Newer techniques like Aquablation, Rezum, Urolift, Prostate artery embolization and Temporary implantable nitinol devices (iTIND) produce relatively less reduction in PSA and lesser percentile improvement in post-operative parameters.

Conclusions: Various surgical procedures for BPH result in varying PSA nadirs level. Enucleation procedures and simple prostatectomy produce the most drastic and sustained decrease in PSA. There is a possible indirect evidence suggesting that the level of PSA nadir corresponds closely with the degree of post-operative improvement and durability of the procedure. Establishing the new PSA nadir at 3-6 months after the procedure is recommended as a part of routine surveillance for prostate cancer in eligible patients.

Keywords: Benign prostatic hyperplasia; Endoscopic enucleation; Laser vaporization; Photoselective vaporization; Prostate artery embolization; Prostate cancer; Prostate specific antigen; REZUM; Simple prostatectomy; TUMT; TUNA; TURP; Urolift; iTIND.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy* / methods
  • Male
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia* / complications
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia* / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia* / surgery
  • Transurethral Resection of Prostate* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Bladder Neck Obstruction* / complications
  • Urinary Bladder Neck Obstruction* / surgery


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen