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Trends and attitudes in surgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia
Department of Urology, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Apr  2012 (Vol.  19, Issue  2, Pages( 6170 - 6175)
PMID: 22512959


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    Surgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has changed over the past 15 years with newer techniques emerging such as laser therapy that can be used with anticoagulation, an increasing issue with modern patients. We sought to evaluate current trends in procedure utilization based on age, location, type of practice, and experience. We also hoped to determine what factors influence surgeons' decisions to choose or reject particular surgical techniques. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A 90-item on-line survey was sent via electronic mail to the American Urological Association (AUA), Veterans Administration, Society for Government Service Urologists, and Endourological Society. Data concerning utilization of 12 BPH surgical techniques were analyzed and compared to the surgeons' demographics using categorical data analysis and logistic regression.


    Of approximately 5500 urologists contacted, 600 urologists replied with 570 currently performing BPH surgery. The two procedures that continue to be utilized by urologists are open prostatectomy (OP) at 78% and monopolar transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) at 73%. When stratified by urologist age and year of residency completion, there were no differences in procedure utilization. There were no differences in types of procedures utilized between AUA sections except in the Northeastern AUA section which utilized less monopolar TURP and the New York section which utilized less photoselective vaporization (PVP). Higher volume surgeons were more likely to perform holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP), diode laser vaporization of the prostate, holmium laser ablation of the prostate (HoLAP), and thulium laser ablation. There were no trends for low volume surgeons. There were no differences in types of procedures performed in full time academic versus non-academic settings except for robotic prostatectomy and button TURP which were utilized more often in academic settings. Urologists were more likely to accept a technique that produces good clinical outcomes, is safe in practice, and minimally invasive. Urologists reject procedures most frequently due to preference for another technique or lack of training/equipment. Interestingly, reimbursement/cost issues were never reported as primary reasons for acceptance/rejection of any approach.


    Change in technology has led urologists to change their approach to surgical treatment of BPH. OP and monopolar TURP are still the procedures utilized by most urologists, however, laser therapy is emerging as a commonly used technique. As more high-risk patients are treated, laser therapies may become a more popularized technique. Further larger scale studies evaluating surgeon attitudes might clarify how changing technology influences practice patterns.