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Plasma Vaporization for Enlarged Prostate: December 29, 2011

It’s quite literally a growing problem among men in this country.

“Forty-percent of 40-year-old men have enlarged prostate, 50 percent of 50-year-old men have enlarged prostate and 60 percent of 60-year-old men have enlarge prostate,” says Dr. Meir Daller, a urologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

A condition called benign prostate hyperplasia can cause extreme discomfort. As the prostate gland increases in size, it puts pressure or squeezes the urethra, and causes a variety of urinary problems.

“Waking up at night several times, two or three times at night. You have difficulty falling asleep again, you have dribbling, you have weaker stream, you have a hesitancy. Some of the complications from urinary retention are urinary tract infection, bladder stones, and kidney failure. These are serious complications that can happen if you’re not able to empty your bladder very well,” says Dr. Daller.

The gold standard used to be removing part of the enlarged prostate. It was a significant surgery that required hospital stay. Now a new procedure is being done in outpatient surgery centers, and it doesn’t involve cutting.

“In this new procedure, you’re using a special gas that essentially vaporizes the insides of the prostate and the end result is the same,” says Dr. Daller.

Urologist Meir Daller uses a plasma vaporization electrode that doesn’t cut the tissue. Instead it vaporizes it with a small button electrode.

“With the button the plasma button, this is essentially a virtually a bloodless procedure. The procedure itself takes about twenty minutes. The patient goes home about an hour after the procedure and overall they do quite well,” says Dr. Daller.

The procedure is most commonly used on men who are not getting relief from medications. In those cases, the plasma procedure can vaporize their prostate problem.