A new state-of-the-art laser is being introduced at West Suffolk Hospital to treat men with enlarged prostates.
The GreenLight laser is used to treat a condition called benign prostate enlargement (BPE), which happens when the prostate grows and constricts the flow of urine from the bladder, causing problems which can have a major impact on quality of life.
Clinicians use the laser to target the excess tissue, in turn easing any blockages and helping the patient return to normal.
The procedure is less invasive than other surgical treatments, and can be completed as a day case, which means the patient can return home more quickly.
It is estimated around 125 patients will be treated with the laser each year when West Suffolk becomes only the second hospital in East Anglia to introduce the technology next month.
Georgina Wilson, consultant urologist at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new laser will allow us to treat these men promptly and effectively. The treatment has less risk of complications and a much faster recovery time, which means that most men will return home the same day. Because recovery is much faster than with traditional surgical treatments, it also means we will be able to see more patients while freeing up bed space.”
Previously, appropriate patients with BPE were treated surgically with a section of the prostate chipped away using electricity under general anaesthetic. The hospital would perform around 250 procedures each year, with each patient staying in hospital for around three days.
It will continue to offer surgery as not all men will be suitable for laser treatment.