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Population-based assessment of re-treatment and healthcare utilisation after photoselective vaporization of the prostate or electrosurgical transurethral resection of the prostate

Welk B, Reid J, Ordon M, Razvi H, Campbell J. BJU Int. 2019; 124(6):1047-54. Epub 2019 Aug 7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bju.14891.


Objective — To compare the healthcare utilisation and repeat surgical treatment rate amongst older men undergoing an electrosurgical-transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) vs photoselective vaporisation of the prostate (PVP), as the real-world implementation and outcomes of laser-based treatment have not been well studied.

Patients and Methods — We used administrative data from the province of Ontario, Canada, to identify all men aged >66 years who underwent their first electrosurgical-TURP/PVP between 2003 and 2016. Our primary exposure was type of procedure (PVP or electrosurgical-TURP). Our primary outcome was need for repeat surgical treatment. The primary analysis was an adjusted marginal Cox model approach, which accounted for clustering of patients within surgeons; adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) or odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are reported.

Results — We identified 52 748 men: 6838 (13%) underwent PVP, and 45 910 (87%) underwent electrosurgical-TURP. The median age was similar, and PVP became more common with time. Compared to the PVP group, more patients in the electrosurgical-TURP group had prior gross haematuria or urinary retention, and fewer had used anticoagulants, alpha-blockers, or 5alpha-reductase inhibitors. The need for repeat surgical treatment was significantly higher amongst men who had PVP (aHR 1.57, 95% CI 1.38-1.78; absolute risk difference +2.3%). PVP was also associated with a slightly higher risk of return to the emergency room within 30 days (aOR 1.11, 95% CI 1.01-1.22) and a significantly lower risk of blood transfusion (aOR 0.24, CI 0.16-0.37); the majority of PVP cases were done with a <24 h stay (73%) vs electrosurgical-TURP (7%).

Conclusions — While some of the expected benefits of PVP (such as reduced transfusion risk and shorter length of stay) were observed, the significantly higher rate of repeat surgical treatment compared to electrosurgical-TURP may represent an important difference in implementation of this technology outside of clinical trials.

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