RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Randomized study of transurethral resection of the prostate and combined transurethral resection and vaporization of the prostate as a therapeutic alternative in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In recent years, various minimally invasive alternatives to transurethral resection have become available for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Transurethral electrovaporization has become popular, with reported improvements in subjective and objectives measures, but a high rate of postoperative irritative symptoms and lack of tissue for histologic examination are the two most commonly reported disadvantages of this procedure. To decrease the postoperative irritative symptoms while minimizing intraoperative and postoperative bleeding and also to obtain tissue samples, we have combined the techniques of vaporization, which was termed "vapor-cut." The aim of this randomized study was to compare the efficacy and safety of vapor-cut with those of the gold standard, transurethral resection.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A series of 100 consecutive men (mean age 63.5 +/- 3.4 years) with moderate to severe symptoms of prostatism were randomized to receive transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or vapor-cut since November 1997. Adverse events during the procedure, including serial changes in both serum hematocrit and sodium and postoperative irritative symptoms, were recorded after removal of the urethral catheter. Preoperative and postoperative symptom scores and maximum flow rates (Qmax) were obtained from all patients. The volume of the prostate was measured preoperatively and postoperatively using transrectal ultrasonography. The mean follow-up of the patients was 6.7 months (range 6-10 months).

RESULTS: The mean operative times for the vapor-cut group and the TURP group were 48.2 minutes and 42.7 minutes, respectively (P > 0.05). In the TURP group and the vapor-cut group, the International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS) decreased from 21.6 to 5.0 (P < 0.01) and from 19.4 to 4.0 (P < 0.01), respectively, at 6 months. The Qmax increased from 9.2 +/- 2.6 mL/sec to 24.6 +/- 3.4 mL/sec (P < 0.01) in the TURP group and from 7.9 +/- 2.1 mL/sec to 26.7 +/- 3.7 mL/sec (P < 0.01) in the vapor-cut group. The mean reductions in the weight of the prostate were 49.8% in the TURP group (P < 0.05) and 53.6% in the vapor-cut group (P < 0.05). Both catheterization time and hospital stay were significantly shorter for the vapor-cut group (P < 0.05). The decreases in the mean serum sodium concentration were statistically insignificant in both groups. However, the decrease in the mean hematocrit was statistically significant in the TURP group but not in the vapor-cut group. No patient in either group had the transurethral resection syndrome or required blood transfusion. After removal of the urethral catheter, irritative voiding symptoms, usually associated with frequency, were greater in those patients treated with TURP than in those having vapor-cut. None of the patients demonstrated sphincteric incontinence, bladder neck contracture, or urethral stricture.

CONCLUSION: From our preliminary experience, vapor-cut seems to give results comparable to those of TURP. Because there is almost no bleeding during vapor-cut, the procedure is performed under excellent visibility, which permits more rapid and effective resection.

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