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Evidence to Improve Care

Photoselective Vaporization for the Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia


Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendations

  • Photoselective laser vaporization for benign prostatic hyperplasia is an effective, safe, and cost-effective alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate and may be increasingly preferred because it can be performed in the outpatient setting, with less blood loss and a reduced need for hospital admission.

  • Appropriate diffusion of this technology will require training programs for urologists to develop the necessary skills to perform the procedure.

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation report



In older men, it is common for the prostate gland to grow larger. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia and can lead to trouble urinating: having to go too often, not being able to go, or not being able to empty the bladder completely. Treatment often involves surgery to remove part of the enlarged prostate. The surgery is called transurethral resection of the prostate.


Health Quality Ontario Reviews Photoselective Vaporization for the Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

A laser treatment called photoselective vaporization of the prostate can also be used to shrink the prostate. It is less expensive than surgery and does not require a hospital stay.


Photoselective Vaporization for the Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: An Evidence-Based Analysis (PDF)
August 2013

Related Resources

Energy Delivery Systems for Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia; An Evidence-Based Analysis (PDF)
August 2006

OHTAC Recommendation: Energy Delivery Systems for Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (PDF)
August 2006


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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care endorses this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry agrees with this recommendation and encourages health care providers to consider using this procedure. The treatment of prostatic obstruction using surgery (either through transurethral resection of the prostate [TURP] or photoselective vaporization) is an insured service in Ontario. The Ministry is currently reviewing whether changes are needed to further promote use of this procedure instead of TURP.




Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.



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