Photoselective vaporization for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
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BACKGROUND: As an alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) provides a bloodless, relatively painless relief of lower urinary tract symptoms for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Following a review of the evidence in 2006, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommended that a study be conducted to evaluate PVP in Ontario. OBJECTIVES: To compare the clinical effectiveness, safety, cost-effectiveness, and budget impact of PVP compared to conventional TURP for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia in Ontario. METHODS: A prospective, nonrandomized trial was conducted in 3 Ontario centres. Consenting subjects were assessed at baseline and 1, 3, and 6 months following surgery. Outcome measures included International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), peak urinary flow rate (Qmax), post-void residual (PVR) volume, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), health-related quality of life (HRQOL) using the EuroQol 5 Domain questionnaire, and the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) score. Adverse events, resource utilization, and productivity losses were also assessed. Cost-effectiveness and budget impact analyses were completed using data from the study. RESULTS: Between February 2008 and August 2010, 164 subjects were enrolled in the study (n = 140 for PVP and n = 24 for TURP). Treatment outcomes were similar between the 2 groups at 6 months, with the IPSS decreasing similarly over time (P = 0.718). For other treatment outcomes (Qmax, PSA, HRQOL, SHIM) both treatments provided similar benefit over time; only changes in PVR volume favoured PVP (P = 0.018). The majority of PVP patients were managed on an outpatient basis, with only 7.1% requiring admission (all TURP subjects were inpatients). At 6 months, PVP was less costly than TURP ($3,891 versus $4,863; P = 0.001), with similar quality-adjusted life-years (0.448 versus 0.441; P = 0.658). PVP remained the most cost-effective treatment across all decision-making thresholds, with the technology costing less and providing similar clinical outcomes. Extrapolating the results to a provincial level indicated (based on an estimated case volume of 12,335 TURPs) that there is an opportunity to reallocate just over $14 million (Cdn), primarily related to the reduced need for hospital admission. LIMITATIONS: This study was nonrandomized, and the results should be interpreted with some caution, despite generally similar baseline characteristics between the 2 groups. Recruiting individuals to the TURP arm was a challenge, resulting in a size imbalance between treatment arms. CONCLUSIONS: Based on this analysis, PVP appears to be a cost-effective alternative to TURP, providing similar clinical benefit at a lower cost to the health system.