Photoselective vaporization for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia
Bowen JM, Whelan JP, Hopkins RB, Burke N, Woods EA, McIsaac GP, O'Reilly DJ, Xie F, Sehatzadeh S, Levin L, Mathew SP, Patterson LL, Goeree R, Tarride JE. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser. 2013 Aug 1;13(2):1-34.


Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health (PATH) Research Institute, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.



As an alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) provides a bloodless, relatively painless relief of lower urinary tract symptoms for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Following a review of the evidence in 2006, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommended that a study be conducted to evaluate PVP in Ontario.


To compare the clinical effectiveness, safety, cost-effectiveness, and budget impact of PVP compared to conventional TURP for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia in Ontario.


A prospective, nonrandomized trial was conducted in 3 Ontario centres. Consenting subjects were assessed at baseline and 1, 3, and 6 months following surgery. Outcome measures included International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), peak urinary flow rate (Qmax), post-void residual (PVR) volume, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), health-related quality of life (HRQOL) using the EuroQol 5 Domain questionnaire, and the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) score. Adverse events, resource utilization, and productivity losses were also assessed. Cost-effectiveness and budget impact analyses were completed using data from the study.


Between February 2008 and August 2010, 164 subjects were enrolled in the study (n = 140 for PVP and n = 24 for TURP). Treatment outcomes were similar between the 2 groups at 6 months, with the IPSS decreasing similarly over time (P = 0.718). For other treatment outcomes (Qmax, PSA, HRQOL, SHIM) both treatments provided similar benefit over time; only changes in PVR volume favoured PVP (P = 0.018). The majority of PVP patients were managed on an outpatient basis, with only 7.1% requiring admission (all TURP subjects were inpatients). At 6 months, PVP was less costly than TURP ($3,891 versus $4,863; P = 0.001), with similar quality-adjusted life-years (0.448 versus 0.441; P = 0.658). PVP remained the most cost-effective treatment across all decision-making thresholds, with the technology costing less and providing similar clinical outcomes. Extrapolating the results to a provincial level indicated (based on an estimated case volume of 12,335 TURPs) that there is an opportunity to reallocate just over $14 million (Cdn), primarily related to the reduced need for hospital admission.


This study was nonrandomized, and the results should be interpreted with some caution, despite generally similar baseline characteristics between the 2 groups. Recruiting individuals to the TURP arm was a challenge, resulting in a size imbalance between treatment arms.


Based on this analysis, PVP appears to be a cost-effective alternative to TURP, providing similar clinical benefit at a lower cost to the health system.


For men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to an enlarged prostate, a laser treatment called photoselective vaporization of the prostate (or PVP) is just as effective as surgery. PVP does not require an overnight stay in the hospital for most men, and it costs almost $1,000 less. This report describes the results of a study that collected information about treatment outcomes, quality of life, and health care use related to PVP and surgery in Ontario.