REVIEW PAPER
Therapeutic use of lasers in urology
 
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1
Katedra i Zakład Higieny, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu, Polska
2
Katedra i Klinika Endokrynologii, Diabetologii i Leczenia Izotopami, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu, Polska
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Fryderyk Menzel   

Katedra i Zakład Higieny, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu, J. Mikulicza-Radeckiego 7, 50-345, Wrocław, Polska
 
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ABSTRACT
Introduction and objective:
Lasers play an important role in urological diagnostics and therapy. The significance and applicability of lasers increase along with further development of endoscopic procedures. The aim of this study is to present the current therapeutic use of lasers in urology.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
Currently in urology there are four types of lasers commonly used: holmium laser (Ho:YAG), thulium laser (Tm:YAG), PotassiumTitanyl-Phosphate laser (KTP) and diode laser. The differences between them are: gain medium, which determinates wavelength, mode of operation (continuous or pulsed) and power. This results in significant differences in effects on tissue, penetration depth, use of the laser in specific procedures. All four mentioned lasers are used in the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy. The technique and range of the procedure depend on the type of laser – enucleation, vaporization, or resection of the prostate might be performed. Furthermore, the holmium laser is used in the therapy of urolithiasis and is an effective alternative to extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). The use of laser therapy in urological oncology is still the subject of studies.

Conclusions:
There are numerous advantages in using lasers in the therapy of urological conditions, especially in endoscopic procedures. They are often characterized by a higher safety profile and lower number of complications compared to classic treatment methods, with similar or higher efficacy. Lasers in urology are gradually replacing previously used methods or have become a good alternative.

 
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