Evaluation of the learning curve for Thulium VapoEnucleation of the prostate (ThuVEP) using a mentor-based approach.

Department of Urology, Asklepios Hospital Barmbek, Rübenkamp 220, 22291, Hamburg, Germany, .
World Journal of Urology (Impact Factor: 3.42). 06/2012; DOI: 10.1007/s00345-012-0894-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: To evaluate the learning curve of Thulium:YAG VapoEnucleation of the prostate (ThuVEP) for patients with symptomatic benign prostatic obstruction (BPO) prospectively. METHODS: ThuVEP was performed using the 120 Watt 2 μm continuous wave Thulium:YAG laser. ThuVEP was done by a resident without experience in transurethral prostate surgery (A, n = 32), an experienced endourologist (B, n = 32), and an experienced surgeon in ThuVEP (C, n = 32), who served as the mentor for A/B. Patients were divided into consecutive subgroups of 8 patients to assess the impact of the learning curve on procedure outcome. Patient demographic, perioperative, and 12-month follow-up data were analysed. RESULTS: ThuVEP was successfully completed in all patients. Enucleation efficiency (g/min) differed significantly between surgeon A (0.48 ± 0.3), B (0.7 ± 0.36), and C (1.4 ± 0.67) (p ≤ 0.001). Enucleation efficiency correlated significantly with the weight of resected tissue in surgeon A (r = 0.88), B (r = 0.73), and C (r = 0.79) (p < 0.001). ThuVEP was performed by surgeon A and B with reasonable enucleation, morcellation, and overall operation efficiency after 8-16 procedures. At 12-month follow-up, 68 (71 %) patients were available for review. IPSS, QoL, Qmax, PVR, PSA, and prostate volume improved significantly at follow-up (p ≤ 0.023). Mean PSA/prostate volume reduction was 81.95/74.5, 80.7/79.4, and 87.6/75.9 % in surgeon A, B, and C, respectively. Urethral stricture and bladder neck contracture developed 2 (A = 1, B = 1; 2.1 %) patients and 1 (C, 1 %) patient each, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: ThuVEP can be performed with reasonable efficiency even during the initial learning course of the surgeon when closely mentored. Previous experience in the field of endourology is beneficial.

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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate Thulium VapoEnucleation of the prostate (ThuVEP) for patients with symptomatic benign prostatic obstruction (BPO) with long-term follow-up. A prospective analysis of 124 patients who underwent ThuVEP between January 2007 and July 2008 at our institution was done. ThuVEP was carried out using the 70-Watt 2-μm continuous wave Tm:YAG laser. Patient demographic, perioperative complications, and follow-up data were analysed. The median (interquartile range) preoperative prostate volume was 58.5 (45-70.75) cc. The median operation and enucleation time were 74 (60-100) and 32.54 (25.62-37.52) min, respectively. The median catheter time and postoperative hospital stay were 2 (2-2) and 4 (3-5) days, respectively. Nine (7.3 %) patients required a second-look operation in the immediate postoperative course (failed morcellation = 2, clot retention = 3, and residual adenoma = 4). Two patients needed blood transfusions (1.6 %) postoperatively. At 12-month follow-up, International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), quality of life (QoL), maximum urinary flow rate (Qmax), and postvoiding residual urine (PVR) improved significantly in comparison with preoperative assessment (p < 0.001). A significant decrease of median PSA (4.7 vs. 0.92 μg/l) was seen at one-year follow-up (p < 0.001). At the 48-month follow-up mark, Qmax, PVR, IPSS, and QoL still differed significantly from baseline (p < 0.001). Bladder neck contractures and urethral strictures each developed in 1.6 and 0.8 % of the patients during follow-up. None of the patients were re-treated during follow-up for recurrent prostatic tissue. ThuVEP is a safe, efficacious, and durable procedure for the treatment of BPO. The incidence of late complications with ThuVEP was low.
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