Lasers used in the treatment of BPH come in various types. Generally lasers are categorized according to their wavelength, however they are often referred to by the element that is used within the laser to generate laser light at the particular wavelength. For example a KTP laser generates green light at 532 nanometers (nm), a Holmium laser generates laser light at around 2100 nanometers, Thulium lasers generate light at around 2010 nanometers. Some wavelengths penetrate deeply into tissue and tend to “cook” the tissue somewhat like the RF or Microwave therapies discussed elsewhere. Some laser wavelengths on the other-hand are highly absorbed by water and readily vaporize tissue removing it on contact.
Lasers have been shown to provide the advantages of lower infection rates and quicker healing in a variety of surgical procedures. Lasers have been used in the treatment of BPH for over 20 years. Although lasers have been used to treat BPH for years, their use has continued to evolve as different laser wavelengths have been introduced. Lasers can be used to remove excessive prostatic tissue in several ways. Following is a discussion of the various methods.