Transurethral plasma vaporization of the prostate: 3-month functional outcome and complications


  • A study from the French Urological Association Committee for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (CTMH-AFU).

Grégoire Robert, Bordeaux Pellegrin University Hospital, Department of Urology, Place Amélie Raba Léon, 33000 Bordeaux, France.e-mail:


Study Type – Therapy (multi-centre cohort)

Level of Evidence 2b


To evaluate the early functional outcomes of transurethral plasma vaporization of the prostate (TUVis) in a multicentre study.


A prospective multicentre observational study was conducted in eight urology departments. The inclusion criterion was benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) requiring surgical treatment. Patients on anti-coagulant therapy were not excluded. The TUVis procedure was performed according to a classic transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) scheme following the manufacturer’s recommendations. We evaluated subjective functional outcome using self-questionnaires (International Prostate Symptom Score [IPSS] and five-item International Index of Erectile Function [IIEF-5]) and objective criteria (prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen [PSA], uroflowmetry, post residual volume) at baseline and at 1- and 3-month follow-ups. All types of complications were systematically recorded.


Despite 52% of patients receiving anticoagulant therapy before surgery, we reported only 3% with haemorrhagic complications, no blood transfusion, a mean catheterization time of 44 h and a mean postoperative stay of 2.9 nights. No significant change in irrigation time, catheter time or hospital stay was observed in patients with or without anticoagulant therapy. The IPSS and bother scores significantly decreased after the 3-month follow-up (57% and 59%, respectively), but the average remaining prostate volume was 29 cc and the tissue ablation rate was only 0.5 cc/min. Three major complications occurred, consisting of two urinary fistulas and one partial bladder coagulation.


The TUVis procedure has a proven fast postoperative recovery time, good short-term functional outcome and good haemostatic efficiency. However, the tissue ablation rate was lower than expected and we encountered three major complications, the mechanisms of which remain unclear. Considering the high energy level required to create the plasma effect, the generator, cable and resectoscope must be carefully checked before each procedure.