Indigo Laser Relieves Symptoms
of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia


Vol. 9, No. 3
December, 1999

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy Makes a Quantum Leap

  • Ambulatory Surgery Unit Expands

  • New Island Hospital Breaks Ground

  • Winthrop is Y2K Ready

  • Indigo Laser Relieves Symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Study

  • Dr. Scott Named Heart Association President

  • New Interventional Radiology Suite Unveiled

  • Mammotome® Breast Biopsy Procedure

  • Drug May Help Prevent Lung and Brain Damage in Premature Babies

  • Winthrop Nurses Never Stop Learning

  • Clinical Trial for Pancreatic Cancer

  • Winthrop: A Center for Lifesaving Autologous Stem Cell Transplants

  • Carnival in Venice Benefits Winthrop

  • John Broder Named Businessperson of the Year

  • Yuletide Ball

  • Winthrop’s Ninth Annual Flu Immunization Program Reached 1,500 Senior Citizens

  • Teens for Tots/Teen Angels’ Donation to Child Life Program

  • Winthrop’s Deserving Volunteers Receive Awards

  • Volunteers Needed at Winthrop

  • Visiting Scholar from Taiwan Studies at Winthrop

  • For Long Island Children who don't have Health Insurance

  • Copyright

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  • They are called the “golden years,” yet as men age, common medical conditions can take some of the joy out of living. One such condition is benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), enlargement of the prostate gland surrounding the urethra. Nationwide, an estimated seven million men over the age of 50 experience the symptoms of BPH, which include decreased force of the urinary stream, inability to completely empty the bladder, increased frequency of urination, especially at night, and intermittent stopping and starting of the urinary stream.

    Brett C. Mellinger, MD, Chairman of the Department of Urology at Winthrop.


    Now at Winthrop, urologists are using the new Indigo laser technique to treat BPH in men who cannot achieve relief through medication management.

    “The ‘gold standard’ in terms of curing BPH is still surgery,” commented Brett C. Mellinger, MD, Chairman of Urology at Winthrop. “However, surgery requires a two-day hospital stay and has associated risks and side effects, including incontinence, impotence, and excessive bleeding.”

    In contrast, the Indigo laser being used at Winthrop carries few risks and can be performed on an outpatient basis in the Hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery Unit.

    The Indigo system is an optic laser that travels through a catheter to the prostate gland. It uses heat to coagulate excess tissue which is reabsorbed by the body over time. The laser is sophisticated enough to detect the difference between the prostate gland and nearby urethra. This enables urologists to shrink the prostate gland with a high degree of accuracy, preserving the lining of the urethra.

    “Patients typically see improvement in their symptoms gradually over a three-to-six month period following treatment,” Dr. Mellinger said.

    Success rates with the Indigo appear to approach those of surgery and seem to be superior to treatment with medication. “Patients report significant symptom improvement after treatment with the Indigo laser,” Dr. Mellinger noted.

    All urologists who are affiliated with Winthrop are qualified to perform the Indigo laser procedure. For additional information on the procedure or a referral to a Winthrop urologist, call (516) 663-2234.



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