Purpose: We conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of laser prostatectomy techniques compared to transurethral resection of the prostate for symptomatic benign prostatic obstruction. Materials and Methods: We searched MEDLINE, the Cochrane library and reference lists of retrieved studies to identify randomized trials of 6 months or greater in duration with at least 10 subjects in each treatment arm. We extracted data on study design, subject and treatment characteristics, adverse events, urinary symptoms and urinary flow. Results: A total of 16 studies involving 1,488 subjects were evaluated, including 8 comparisons of transurethral resection with contact lasers, 7 with noncontact lasers and 4 with hybrid techniques. Study duration ranged from 6 to 36 months. Mean patient age (67.4 years), baseline symptom score (20.2) and peak urinary flow (9.5 ml. per second) did not differ by treatment group. Transurethral resection of the prostate provided slightly greater improvement in urinary symptoms and flow. The pooled mean percentage improvement for urinary symptoms ranged from 59% to 68% with lasers and 63% to 77% with transurethral resection. Improvement for peak urinary flow ranged from 56% to 119% with lasers and 96% to 127% with transurethral resection of the prostate. Laser procedures resulted in fewer transfusions (less than 1% versus 7%) and strictures (0% to 7% versus 8%), and required shorter hospitalizations. Reoperation occurred more often (RR = 5.7) following laser procedures. Conclusions: Laser techniques are a useful alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate for treating benign prostatic obstruction. Small sample sizes and differences in study design limit any definitive conclusions regarding the preferred type of laser technique.
- Laser surgery
- Prostatic hyperplasia
- Transurethral resection of the prostate