The KTP-(greenlight-) laser—principles and experiences

Alexander Bachmann, Robin Ruszat
Minimally Invasive Therapy & Allied Technologies: MITAT 2007, 16 (1): 5-10
The most recent advance in laser technology for transurethral prostatectomy is represented by the KTP laser. A potassium-titanyl-phosphate-(KTP-) crystal doubles the frequency of pulsed Neodymium: Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet (Nd:YAG) laser energy to a 532 nm wavelength, which is in the green electromagnetic spectrum (Greenlight-laser) and is selectively absorbed by hemoglobin and not at all by water. Reducing the wavelength leads to a completely different interaction between laser beam and prostatic tissue. In contrast to the early clinical experiences with the Nd:YAG lasers in which vaporization was observed as a side-effect during the procedure, the new KTP laser offers an immediate and efficient vaporization, leading to real tissue ablation. Because of the instant and nearly complete absorption in blood, the depth in vascularized tissue such as prostate is only 0.8 mm. The superficial coagulation prevents the large tissue necrosis that is seen with the Nd:YAG laser, leading to long lasting irritative symptoms due to sloughing of necrotic tissue. Initial experiences, made with a 60W KTP system, demonstrated that the procedure was as effective as conventional transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) with a lower intraoperative complication rate. In order to speed up vaporization of the prostate laser power has been increased to 80W. The 80W KTP laser combines the tissue debulking properties of TURP and the favourable safety profile of laser surgery. With the new 120W High Performance System, introduced in 2006, vaporization will become more powerful and faster. Initial reports are awaited.

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