Randomized, controlled trial of laser vs. bipolar plasma vaporization treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia


  • Thomas A.A. Skinner Queen's University
  • Robert J. Leslie Queen's University
  • Stephen S. Steele Queen's University
  • J. Curtis Nickel Professor, CIHR Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation Department of Urology Queen’s University Kingston General Hospital Victory 4, KGH 76 Stuart Street Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 2V7 Telephone: 613-549-6666 x3743 Email: jcn@queensu.ca




Introduction: Prostate vaporization technology is becoming a standard of care for treatment of moderate, symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). We compared two transurethral prostate
vaporization technologies with respect to cost, efficiency, efficacy, safety, and surgical team satisfaction.

Methods: Fifty-five patients meeting standardized symptom criteria for BPH were randomized to either Olympus Plasma ButtonTM or Biolitec EVOLVE® diode laser vaporization. Primary outcome of cost with secondary outcomes of clinical efficacy, resection time, surgical team satisfaction, and safety were analyzed. Followup was carried out at six and 12 weeks. Patient factors included baseline, as well as six- and 12-week International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) with quality of life (QoL) scores. We recorded surgical team satisfaction with a Likert-style survey investigating ease of set-up, reliability, efficiency, and ability to reach desired endpoint. All complications or side effects detected within three months and the resulting management were included in the cost analysis.

Results: Mean cost per patient was $3418 for the Olympus group and $4564 for Biolitec (p<0.05). Surgical vaporization time was significantly less for the Olympus group, 24.3 vs. 33.5 minutes
(p<0.05). Surgical and nursing staff preferred the Olympus device (p<0.05). IPPS symptom improvement and complication rates were similar between groups. Patients in the Biolitec arm had more intraoperative bleeding episodes requiring conversion to monopolar transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) (three vs. none).

Conclusions: In a head-to-head randomized trial, Olympus Plasma Button transurethral vaporization was more cost-effective, faster, and preferred by surgical staff when compared to Biolitetec Diode Laser vaporization. Both devices showed similar safety and efficacy.


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How to Cite

Skinner, T. A., Leslie, R. J., Steele, S. S., & Nickel, J. C. (2017). Randomized, controlled trial of laser vs. bipolar plasma vaporization treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 11(6), 194–8. https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4213



Original Research