Urology is a branch of medicine that deals with the diseases and disorders of the male and female urinary system and the male reproductive organs. It is a specialized branch of medicine that has been in existence for a long time and has advanced in many ways over the past two decades, courtesy the introduction of the laser technology. Laser technology has helped urologists tremendously and they have been able to treat a number of patients through laser-assisted surgery. The use of lasers has made it possible for the urologists to utilize endoscopic instruments with small-diameter that allow them to see the minutest details of the urinary tract and treat the complex cases with ease.
- Laser in bladder outlet obstruction: Bladder outlet obstruction is a blockage at the base of the bladder, which slows down or stops the flow of urine to the urethra, causing discomfort to the patient. Most men in their old age suffer from this problem and laser technology helps in conducting the surgical procedure to remove this blockage. It has been found that laser-assisted surgery results in lesser loss of blood as compared to open surgery. In some cases, blood transfusion after surgery is not required at all. Also, the hospital stay post operation is shorter, which ensures more comfort to the patient.
- Laser in urolithiasis: The formation of kidney stones in the urinary tract is known as urolithiasis. Treatment of this conditions requires surgical intervention and it is nowadays done with the help of endoscopic intracorporeal laser lithotripsy. This technique uses strong beams of laser light to locate the stones, fragment them, and remove them from the urinary tract. The laser technology is safe and can be used in the case of pregnant women too. It can easily access the hard stones present in difficult locations.
- Laser in benign prostatic hyperplasia: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) refers to the enlargement of the prostate. Some of the symptoms of this condition include a frequent urge to urinate, problems in urination, inability to urinate, and loss of bladder control. It can also lead to UTI (urinary tract infection) and stones. It can be treated with photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) in which the excess prostate tissues are melted away and the prostate shrinks back to its original state. Holmium laser ablation of the prostate (HoLAP) also does the same but holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) cuts the excess tissue blocking the urethra.
- Laser in bladder cancer and urinary tract strictures: Bladder cancer refers to the abnormal growth of cells in the urinary tract and this is mostly found in the form of tumors. The tumors can be cancerous and transurethral bladder tumor resection (TURBT) laser technology can help in diagnosis, staging, as well as the treatment of malignant tumors. It makes use of cystoscope to remove the tumor. In case of urinary tract strictures, the urethra becomes narrow, hindering the passage of urine. It can be caused due to an infection or injury. With endoscopic urethrotomy and usage of the cystoscope, the urologist removes the stricture or makes it evaporate with the help of a laser.
Laser technology is of immense value to urologists and offers many advantages to the patients as well. It is more comfortable and with more advances being made in this field, the future looks even brighter for the doctors as well as patients.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!