Friday, September 16, 2011

Greenlight vaporization for Terence!

Laser light is used to destroy cancerous tissue.
Greenlight  Laser Vaporization-
by sherry
Terence will be having surgery done on Thursday (Greenlight laser vaporization).  The size of the cancerous mass in and surrounding his prostate, lymph nodes near his bladder and pelvis have extended into the rectal sling making it so Terence's urethra is almost completely closed off so he isn't able to empty his bladder with out intervention.

This is sort of unusual at this stage because most men with prostate cancer have already had their prostates removed (that wasn't an option for Terence since it was already so advanced at the time of his diagnoses).  Having been left with a cancerous prostate has allowed it to spread....causing the obvious problems.

Greenlight laser vaporization is a recent addition to the minimally-invasive techniques for treating BPH  (benign prostatic hyperplasia -which is an enlarged prostate).  Terence has advanced metastatic prostate cancer, not BPH so......this will be a little different for the doctor.

.....any ways......this is a relatively new procedure which uses the technology of high-powered laser light combined with fiber optics to vaporize the overgrowth of prostate cells quickly and accurately. As the surgeon directs the laser at the prostate, the intense pulses of light emitted from the fiber are absorbed by the blood. Within moments the temperature of the blood becomes so great it causes the nearby cells to vaporize. Green Light V. is being used as an alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and has been shown to be its equal in terms of effectiveness in improvement of symptoms for BPH patients.

This technique is too new for long-term studies to have been completed, but after five years it has been shown to maintain its level of improvement in urinary flow and comfort, and for giving men a better quality of life.

Terence gets the "green light" for surgery.
 It will done on out-patient procedure, under general anesthesia.  The surgeon inserts a cystoscope (a tube equipped with a light) through the urethra to the prostate gland. A thin fiber is run through the cystoscope and placed in the urethra adjacent to the obstruction. Pulses of light radiate from the end of the fiber as the surgeon directs them towards the areas of overgrowth. The light is easily absorbed by the blood which becomes heated to the point that nearby tissues are vaporized. The doctor continues applying this laser light until the destruction of tissue reduces the restriction on the urethra. As the tissue is being vaporized the heat seals off the blood vessels, resulting in less bleeding than in other treatment options.

Terence will come home with catheter inserted to allow urine to drain from his bladder.  Hopefully this procedure will result in him having normal urinary function.  The surgery takes approximately sixty minutes.

Terence's surgeon told us that Terence has a 50/50 chance that this procedure will work for him since he's not sure what the cancer looks like in there; since this procedure is typically used for patients with BPH he's not really sure what to expect.   He may ave to do this the old fashioned way- and cut it out...if that happens, Terence will have a slightly longer hospital stay.

We're hoping and praying this will work for Terence.  Otherwise, well.....we'll cross that bridge if we get to it!

The good news is- other than cancer- Terence is perfectly healthy!!!!!  No heart, liver, lung or kidney problems :D.

Still believing!



  1. Thanks for your blog and the info on "green light"

  2. My husband had HIFU on August 14, 2010 - he's now cancer free and prostate free. We had to go to Cancun for the procedure, but it was well worth it. It isn't approved here in the US yet, but many studies have been done, including some at MD Anderson in Texas.....we should pressure the FDA to get this approved and help save lives!!!!!!

  3. Hope all went well thoughts and prayers r with you two. We have to have faith as small as that mustard seed and watch it grow. Love you both and would love to go to coffee or lunch sometime soon if your up to it. Love Cheryl
    Faith,hope and Love.....:)

  4. Thank you Cheryl....good word, I appreciate the encouragement!