GreenLight treatment recommended to NHS

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the GreenLight Laser treatment for benign prostate disease to the NHS in England and Wales.

Benign prostate disease (or enlargement of the prostate) is a very common disease that can cause significant urinary symptoms in men affecting the quality of their lives. Benign prostate disease starts to cause symptoms in middle age and at 80 years of age, the majority of men will have this disorder.

GreenLight laser PVP (photoselective vaporisation of the prostate) is a minimally invasive treatment for benign prostate disease that delivers a beam of green light to vaporise overgrown prostate tissue. The treatment eliminates the risk of bleeding in benign prostate surgery and allows for safe day case surgery and a quicker return to normal activities for patients. In addition to the benefits to the patient, NICE estimate that it could save the NHS approximately three million pounds.

The first GreenLight laser case in Wales was performed in Bridgend in 2004 by Prostate Cymru Chairman Mr Andy Thomas. The first GreenLight laser unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital was established with funds raised by the GLAZE Prostate Charity (now Prostate Cymru) that was established by the late Ray Murray, his wife Lyn and Andy Thomas in 2003. With the help of fundraising by two Mayors of Bridgend and a grant from former Welsh Health Minister, Jane Hutt, the laser was commissioned less than 6 months later in 2004.

Over the last 12 years over 600 cases of GreenLight surgery have been performed at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, a centre of excellence for the treatment. The latest third Generation GreenLight laser XPS system has also been purchased by Prostate Cymru and was gifted to Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board in December 2015.

In 2011, Andy Thomas was appointed the Principal Co-Investigator of the Goliath Study, the largest randomised trial of laser versus conventional TURP study in the world. The trial included 29 centres in 9 European countries. The results of the study have been published extensively in leading urology journals and international meetings.

Over the last 12 months Andy Thomas (Bridgend), Andy Thorpe (Newcastle) and Gordon Muir (London) have worked closely with NICE to produce guidance on GreenLight laser surgery for the NHS announced today.

Prostate Cymru welcomes NICE’s recommendation to the NHS in England and Wales. Hopefully, with increased availability of GreenLight laser within the UK, more men can undergo prostate surgery with increased safety and a quicker return to normal health. Additionally, men who are unfit for conventional TURP can now be offered beneficial surgery with enhanced safety.

Prostate Cymru was originally launched as GLAZE, an acronym for Green Light Laser, in 2003 to ensure that men in Wales had access to the best available treatments for benign prostate disease.

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