Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) are currently the two most commonly performed procedures for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While each procedure has been shown to be efficacious, TURP or PVP may be preferred in certain clinical scenarios. A number of factors may influence the choice of which patients undergo PVP or TURP. This decision may take into account patient characteristics, such as age, co-morbidities, predominance of irritative symptoms, and/or ongoing anticoagulation. Additionally, balancing desired outcomes with possible risks is critical. Considerations should include possible effects on sexual function, rates of reoperation, cost, and need for tissue specimen in those at risk for prostate cancer. The primary objective of this article is to summarize the comparative research of PVP and TURP and the implications on differences between patients who undergo either procedure.