The use of laser in urogynaecology

Research paper by Alka A. Bhide, Vik Khullar; Stephen Swift; Giuseppe A. Digesu

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 18 Dec '18Published in: International Urogynecology Journal


Introduction The use of lasers in urogynaecology has increased in recent years. Their use has been described in pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence and genito-urinary symptoms of menopause. The aim of this study was to review the published literature on CO2 and erbium:YAG laser use in urogynaecological conditions. Methods An extensive search of literature databases (PubMed, EMBASE) was performed for publications (full text and abstracts) written in English up to July 2018. Relevant trials were selected and analysed by an independent reviewer. Twenty-five studies were identified in total. Results All studies were either prospective cohort or case-control studies. The results of individual studies indicate that both CO2 and erbium lasers are effective in treating urogynaecological conditions. Most studies use a vaginal approach with only two investigations of intraurethral application. Conclusion The use of lasers to treat these conditions may seem appealing; however, the lack of good-quality evidence in the form of multi-centre randomised placebo-controlled trials is concerning. The safety and effectiveness of these laser devices have not been established. Use of lasers may lead to serious adverse events such as vaginal burns, scarring, dyspareunia and chronic pain. Randomised placebo-controlled trials in addition to formal evaluation of the laser devices are required before this treatment modality can be recommended.