Photoselective Vaporization of the Prostate


Basic Facts

  • Photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) is primarily a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), a condition that can occur as men age.
  • During PVP, the physician applies laser energy to obstructed prostate tissue, vaporizing it.
  • Unlike more traditional treatments, PVP is minimally invasive and can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) is a minimally invasive technique (does not require open surgery) used to alleviate urinary symptoms caused by an obstructing prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) by vaporizing the excess prostate tissue using laser energy.


PVP is indicated in patients who:

  • Have symptomatic enlarged prostate or prostate cancer;
  • Are on anticoagulants; and
  • Are ineligible for surgical treatments such as TURP, or who prefer a minimally invasive method.


Before PVP, the physician will take a patient history and perform a physical examination. He or she will discuss any pre-procedure instructions with the patient.


Prostate cancer and enlarged prostate patients for whom symptoms are moderate to severe and invasive treatment methods are not preferred are eligible for PVP.


PVP is typically an outpatient procedure that can be performed at either an office, outpatient surgical facility, or in a hospital setting. The patient will be given an anesthetic so as not to feel anything in the prostate region while PVP is performed. The physician uses a laser fiber that is inserted into a cystoscope, a special tube with a tiny camera on the end, which relays images to a video monitor that the physician uses to guide it through the urethra to the prostate. The physician inserts a cystoscope up to the level of the prostate. Through the cystoscope, a laser fiber is positioned next to the patient’s urethra and laser energy is used to vaporize prostate tissue. Due to the nature of the laser, there is very little blood loss and it can be used in patients who are using anticoagulants. The goal is to remove all excess, obstructive tissue from the prostate and urethra without damaging surrounding tissue. The procedure takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete.


After PVP, the patient will be brought to a recovery room and his vital signs will be monitored. The length of the hospital stay varies, but most patients are discharged the same day.


There are no known complications associated with PVP.

Copyright © 2017 NorthPoint Domain, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material cannot be reproduced in digital or printed form without the express consent of NorthPoint Domain, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distribution of NorthPoint Domain’s Content is an infringement of the copyright holder’s rights.