For Men with BPH, 
Robot-Guided Vaporization of the Prostate               

Although it's called "enlargement of the prostate," the problem in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is also an overgrowth of tissue within the prostate, causing urinary symptoms when the tissue begins to constrict the urethra. One popular, minimally invasive treatment is photoselective vaporization of the prostate, or PVP. But "in spite of its widespread use, there are several limitations in assessing the surgical outcomes of PVP," says urologist Misop Han, M.D. For example, "it is unknown how much prostate tissue is destroyed or left behind after PVP. Instead, the surgery is considered complete when we can see a ‘large enough' cavity within the prostate through the cystoscope. This limitation can potentially result in future tissue regrowth and a need for retreatment. It is also difficult to find out where the tissue vaporization occurs in relation to the surrounding structures."

With Dan Stoianovici, Ph.D., Director of the Urology Robotics Program, and doctoral student Chunwoo Kim, Han has developed a new approach to PVP using transrectal ultrasound guidance. The transrectal ultrasound probe is manipulated by a robotic device, developed at the Urology Robotics laboratory.

A clinical trial for this new image-guided approach is in progress. "If it is successful," says Han, "this will provide additional means for monitoring the surgery so that we can safely remove a large part of the gland and minimize the need for retreatment."

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