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Green Laser Prostate Procedure

Prostate laser surgery is an effective treatment to alleviate moderate to severe urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Pre-Travel Steps

 

  1. Identification of Treatment Need: Your GP or consultant will diagnose the need for Green Laser prostate surgery based on your medical condition and symptoms.
  2. Contact Healthcare Abroad: You or your GP will initiate contact with Healthcare Abroad to begin the process of arranging your Green Laser prostate surgery in an EU country under the Cross-Border Directive. We specialize in facilitating timely access to medical care, bypassing long waiting lists in Ireland.
  3. Liaison with GP and Diagnostic Tests: Our team will collaborate with your GP to organize a referral letter and any necessary diagnostic tests, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of your prostate condition. Test results will be promptly provided to the chosen hospital.
  4. Selection of Hospital and Surgeon: Utilizing our extensive network of hospitals and surgeons, we will match you with a facility and specialist that meet your specific requirements and preferences.
  5. Financial Assistance: If needed, we can assist you in organizing finances through Irish credit unions to cover the costs associated with your Green Laser prostate surgery abroad, allowing you to access treatment without delay.
  6. Arrangement of Surgery Dates: We will liaise with the chosen hospital to secure suitable surgery dates, prioritizing your needs and ensuring timely intervention. Your medical files will be transmitted securely for review by the surgical team.
  7. Confirmation of Travel Dates: Once your healthcare plan is finalized, including surgery dates and logistics, we will confirm your travel arrangements with the hospital team, ensuring seamless coordination for your journey abroad.
  8. Travel Preparation: With all arrangements in place, you are now ready to travel. Upon arrival at the hospital, you will have an outpatient appointment with your consultant the day before your scheduled surgery, providing an opportunity for final pre-operative assessments.
  9. Post-Discharge Paperwork: Following your discharge from the hospital, our team will handle all necessary paperwork, including submission to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for reimbursement. We ensure timely processing to facilitate your refund efficiently.
  10. Update of Medical Records: Your GP will receive a detailed report from the hospital abroad regarding the Green Laser prostate surgery you underwent. This information is essential for updating your local medical records and ensuring continuity of care upon your return to Ireland.

Prostate Laser Surgery for Patients Traveling Under the Cross-Border Directive with Healthcare Abroad

Understanding Prostate Laser Surgery for Enlarged Prostate (BPH)

Procedure Overview

During the surgery, a scope is inserted through the tip of the penis into the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. The enlarged prostate surrounds the urethra, restricting urine flow. A laser is then used to shrink or remove the excess prostate tissue, thereby improving urine flow.

Types of Prostate Laser Surgery

  1. Photoselective Vaporization of the Prostate (PVP)
    • Uses a laser to vaporize excess prostate tissue.
    • Ideal for treating mild to moderately enlarged prostates.
  2. Holmium Laser Ablation of the Prostate (HoLAP)
    • Similar to PVP but uses a different type of laser.
    • Effective for treating enlarged prostate symptoms.
  3. Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP)
    • Cuts and removes excess prostate tissue blocking the urethra.
    • Tissue is then cut into small pieces for easy removal.
    • Suitable for severely enlarged prostates.

Factors Influencing the Choice of Surgery

  • Size of the prostate
  • Overall health
  • Availability of laser equipment
  • Doctor’s expertise and training

At Healthcare Abroad, we facilitate first class prostate laser surgery for patients traveling under the Cross-Border Directive. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you receive the best treatment for BPH abroad.

Why Prostate Laser Surgery is Done

Prostate laser surgery is performed to alleviate urinary symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlarged prostate condition. Here are the common symptoms that this procedure helps reduce:

  • Frequent, urgent need to urinate
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Slow (prolonged) urination
  • Increased frequency of urination at night
  • Stopping and starting again while urinating
  • Feeling unable to completely empty the bladder
  • Urinary tract infections

Treating and Preventing Complications

Laser surgery may also be done to treat or prevent complications resulting from blocked urine flow, such as:

  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Kidney or bladder damage
  • Inability to control urination or an inability to urinate at all
  • Bladder stones
  • Blood in the urine

Advantages of Laser Surgery

Laser surgery offers several benefits over other BPH treatments. Unlike medications, which can take weeks to months for noticeable improvement, laser surgery provides immediate relief of urinary symptoms. Compared to traditional surgery methods like transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and open prostatectomy, laser surgery has several advantages:

  • Lower Risk of Bleeding: Ideal for men on blood-thinning medications or with bleeding disorders.
  • Shorter or No Hospital Stay: Often done on an outpatient basis or requires only an overnight stay.
  • Quicker Recovery: Faster recovery time compared to TURP or open surgery.
  • Less Need for a Catheter: Typically requires a catheter for less than 24 hours, unlike other procedures that require longer catheter use.

At Healthcare Abroad, we specialize in facilitating prostate laser surgery for patients traveling under the Cross-Border Directive. Contact us to learn how we can help you get the best treatment for BPH abroad.

Risks of Prostate Laser Surgery

Prostate laser surgery, while effective, comes with some risks and potential complications:

  • Temporary Difficulty Urinating: Post-surgery, you may have trouble urinating for a few days. A catheter may be needed temporarily to help with urination.
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): The risk of infection increases with the length of catheter use. Antibiotics are typically required to treat UTIs.
  • Narrowing (Stricture) of the Urethra: Scarring from the surgery can block urine flow, necessitating additional treatment.
  • Dry Orgasm (Retrograde Ejaculation): Semen is released into the bladder instead of out of the penis during ejaculation. While not harmful, it can affect fertility but usually doesn’t impact sexual pleasure.
  • Erectile Dysfunction: The risk is small and generally lower with laser surgery compared to traditional methods.
  • Need for Retreatment: Some men may require follow-up treatment after laser vaporization if not all excess tissue is removed or it grows back. Laser enucleation usually doesn’t require retreatment as the entire obstructive part of the prostate is removed.

Overall, serious long-term complications are less common with prostate laser surgery than with traditional surgery.

At Healthcare Abroad, we ensure that patients traveling under the Cross-Border Directive are well-informed about the potential risks and benefits of prostate laser surgery. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you in receiving high-quality treatment abroad.

Preparing for Prostate Laser Surgery with Healthcare Abroad

Food and Medications

In the days leading up to your surgery, your doctor may advise you to stop taking medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, including:

  • Blood thinners such as warfarin (Jantoven) or clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Nonprescription pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), or naproxen sodium (Aleve)

You will likely be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent urinary tract infections.

Other Precautions

Arrange transportation as you will not be able to drive home post-surgery, and you may have a catheter in your bladder.

What to Expect During Prostate Laser Surgery

Before the Procedure

You will receive either general anesthesia, where you will be unconscious, or spinal anesthesia, which keeps you conscious but pain-free in the surgical area. The specifics of the procedure can vary based on the type of laser and technique used.

During the Procedure

A narrow fiber-optic scope is inserted through the tip of your penis into the urethra. The laser is then used to vaporize or cut out the prostate tissue obstructing urine flow. Your doctor may also use instruments to remove cut tissue from the bladder.

After the Procedure

  • Catheter: A urinary catheter will likely be in place due to swelling that can block urine flow. If you are unable to urinate after it is removed, it may be reinserted, or you may be given catheters to use temporarily until you can urinate normally.
  • Blood in Urine: It’s normal to see blood for a few days to weeks after the procedure. Contact your doctor if the blood is thick like ketchup, bleeding worsens, or blood clots block urine flow.
  • Urinary Symptoms: Expect some irritating symptoms such as an urgent or frequent need to urinate, especially at night. Burning sensations at the tip of the penis and near the end of urination are common and can last for weeks or months.
  • Difficulty Holding Urine: Temporary incontinence may occur but usually improves over time.

Post-Surgery Care

Depending on the type of laser surgery, you might go home the same day or stay overnight in the hospital. Your doctor will likely recommend:

  • Taking It Easy: Avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, until your doctor approves. This could be up to two weeks after procedures like HoLEP, but just a few days for others like PVP.
  • Holding Off on Sex: Wait one to two weeks before resuming sexual activity to avoid pain and bleeding.
  • Taking Prescribed Medication: Complete any prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection.

Results

Prostate laser surgery significantly improves urinary flow for most men, with long-lasting results. However, sometimes not all the prostate tissue is removed, or it may grow back, requiring further treatment. If you notice worsening urinary symptoms, see your doctor.

At Healthcare Abroad, we are committed to ensuring that patients traveling under the Cross-Border Directive receive comprehensive care and support before, during, and after prostate laser surgery. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you in receiving high-quality treatment abroad.