Mr Geoffrey Pritchard from Worcester began to suffer from prostate problems in his early 60s, mainly slow urine flow and bouts of frequency, so was put on tamsulosin tablets. This provided good relief and no side-effects. The symptoms became gradually worse though, and it was several years before he realised how much impact the prostate was having on his daily life.
“By the age of 70 I had additional symptoms, such as urgency and continual pain on passing water. I wondered whether to ask my GP to put me on finasteride as well as tamsulosin, as I was not keen on a prostate operation. I then saw the new Greenlight laser operation discussed on the Internet, and decided to go ahead because it was claimed to be much less invasive than the usual TURP method of dealing with enlarged prostates.
After reading several reports, I decided to go for the Greenlight operation at The Priory Hospital in Edgbaston. I had an interview within five days of referral, and shortly afterwards I underwent preliminary tests. My PSA score was low, and the urologist, Mr Almallah, said I probably did not need a biopsy for possible prostate cancer. The tests showed that my bladder had undergone some changes because of the seven or eight years I had spent putting off the operation. I was told it could even have been on the point of giving up altogether, which was surprising as until recently I had considered myself to be only a moderately severe case.
The surgeon did not guarantee success, and warned of possible difficulties in controlling flow at first after the operation. As it turned out, there was no problem and the treatment was completely successful in getting rid of almost all my symptoms of enlarged prostate gland. The procedure was completely painless throughout; I stayed in hospital for two nights (after a spinal block, not a general anaesthetic) and was able to pass urine the morning after the operation, when the catheter was removed. I then went home, where I live alone, and I was able to do all the necessary minimal household jobs straight away. In fact I was able to drive after a week.
I had some episodes of visible blood in the urine for quite a long time, and after 8 days I passed larger amounts of it, probably because some scabs fell off. I saw no more visible blood 28 days after the operation. But otherwise, apart from slight soreness, there have been no after-effects.
I still have to go to the bathroom two or three times a night, and am told it will take a few months to improve, but I am no longer worried that the number of trips will continue to increase. The interruptions to my sleep are shorter now anyway, with a flow rate that seems tripled, and no waiting. Daytime intervals between trips to the lavatory can now be several hours, and I no longer have to plan my day to be always near one.
I would recommend the operation to anyone with benign prostate enlargement, if not thought to have prostate cancer”.