Thursday, November 28, 2013


 A 60 year old gentleman came to us with prostate enlargement and renal failure. He was on maintenance dialysis for the kidney ailment. His prostate was phenomenally large in size (170 gm).The patient was having severe urinary tract infection amenable only to a last line antibiotic -colistin (Multi Drug Resistant organism). He was kept on catheter by almost 4 months and considered to be a very high risk case by doctors outside. We did prostatectomy successfully using Thulium LASER technology. This remarkable feat was achieved in a single session and the patient was discharged within 48 hours of the surgery. He is now free of catheter and the infection.
Conventional method of doing prostatectomy (Trans Urethral Resection of Prostate – TURP) has limitations in such cases. As the size increases; the complications like bleeding and fluid overload also increase. Proceeding ahead with TURP in such cases would have been fraught with the risk of life threatening intra-operative and post- operative haemorrhage.
Currently Ramayya Pramila is the only centre with Thulium LASER facility in whole Andhra Pradesh. We are the pioneers in the field of LASER applications in urology. We were the first ones to use LASER technique for prostate removal way back in 2008.  This centre can boast of treating many such cases again testimony to the fact that the size of the prostate is of no consequence with this wonderful technology. This technology provides respite to high risk patients like patients on blood thinners, aged and frail patients with heart ailments who otherwise cannot be operated with routine methods.
Thulium LASER prostatectomy with morcellation provides significant reduction in bleeding, morbidity and hospital stay. We usually keep the catheter for 24-48 hours (a tube that drain the bladder) and discharge the patient within 48 hours. This is in total contrast to routine TURP where catheter and stay is prolonged (3-5 days) notwithstanding the complications like bleeding.

Slowly this technology is gaining widespread acceptance amongst urologist all over the world. We use smaller diameter endoscope for the surgery and therefore the incidence of post-operative stricture (narrowing because of damage to the urinary tract during the surgical procedure and hence recurrence of urinary problems) is low. It also safely preserves the continence and erectile function of the patients. 
We have done a total of 1250 cases till now using this LASER. Many of the cases were referred to us by cardiologists because of their cardiac problems. Some of patients were on drug eluting stents. In this group of the patients; blood thinners cannot be discontinued. Routine TURP in such patients would have been highly risky. A few were also referred by our fellow urologists; the reason being a large size of the gland. The complications like bleeding, blood transfusing was almost nil. We also did 2 patients in local anaesthesia (pudental block) as they were deemed unfit for any major anaesthesia.
We feel proud to declare that one of our urologists-Dr Naveenchandra Acharya-got first prize for paper on LASER prostatectomy on such high risk patients. He presented a data of 250 such procedures at European Urology Association Meeting held at Abudhabi. The paper was critically acclaimed at the summit. This will pave a way for acceptance of this technology amongst our colleague urologists.
We strongly feel that Thulium LASER is the new emerging platinum standard for prostate surgery and should be adopted by health care professionals for its versatile and superior technology. 

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