• Publications and OHTAC Recommendations

    Ontario Health Technology Assessment Series (OHTAS)

Photoselective Vaporization for the Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

For men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to an enlarged prostate, the standard surgical treatment is a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). In this procedure, the prostate is accessed via the urethra and the inner portion of the prostate is resected and cauterized to permit improved urine flow.

In 2006, following the review of evidence regarding a less invasive treatment called photoselective vaporization of the prostate (or PVP), the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) recommended that a field evaluation be conducted to compare the effectiveness, safety, cost-effectiveness and budgetary impact of PVP compared to TURP. PVP is a surgery that uses a specially designed laser which provides a relatively painless and bloodless treatment for men with LUTS.  The Programs for Assessment of Health Technology (PATH) Research Institute conducted the evaluation which was undertaken in collaboration with three hospitals.

The field evaluation study collected information about treatment outcomes, quality of life, health care use and costs related to PVP and TURP surgery in Ontario. The study found that as an alternative to TURP, PVP is just as effective at relieving LUTS, does not require an overnight stay in the hospital for the majority men, and it costs on average almost $1,000 less than TURP. Two years following treatment, PVP provided similar durability (no return of LUTS) as compared to TURP-treated individuals.

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