Focal Laser Ablation Summary

Does it go by another name? Focal Laser Ablation, FLA, Ablation therapy

What is it? Use real-time MRI guidance to identify and remove cancerous tissue with highly focused, precise, and accurate lasers

Who are good candidates? Low to intermediate stage, Gleason score of XX to YY, and PSA of AA to BB, with no family history, not African American

When did this procedure begin? Since 1990

What kind of therapy is it? Removal of individual lesions or hemi-glands

Where does it happen? A same day outpatient procedure in an MRI suite

How long does the actual procedure take? 1-3 hours

What kind of anesthesia will I need? Moderate sedation

Recovery Time: Return to work 3 days post-op

What is follow up like? PSAs every 6 months, MRIs every year

How much does it cost: $20-40,000 depending on the provider

Does insurance cover this therapy? Maybe, depends on your plan. Frequently the diagnostic and follow up MRIs are covered.

What options do I have if something goes wrong? You can choose any procedure

What are other reliable sources of information? Sperling Prostate Center and University of Chicago

What research institutions are the leader in this procedure? University of Texas Medical Branch and Mayo Clinic

What are the possible side effects?

Symptom Presentation Risk
Erectile Issues
Erectile Dysfunction


Can’t maintain an erection 1%
Reduced Ejaculate Volume Semen volume is low or doesn’t exist Negligible
Retrograde Ejaculation Semen comes into the urinary bladder not out of the body Negligible
Urinary Issues
Urinary Incontinence Urine leakage Negligible
Urinary Retention Urgency with no ability to void
Dysuria Pain on urination
Hematuria Blood in the urine Moderate for 2 weeks post-op
Rectal Issues
Hematochezia Blood in the stool Negligible
Rectourethral Fistula Air, gas bubbles, or stool on urination Negligible
Rectovesical Fistula Recurring UTI, urine passes through rectum Negligible
Recurrence Cancer cells reappear post-op 10-15%
Infection 1-2%
Hot flashes Quick rise in temperature Negligible
Loss of muscle Negligible
Fatigue Negligible
Osteoporosis Negligible
Arthritis Negligible
Breast Enlargement Negligible
Mood Swings Negligible
Diabetes Risks Negligible
Cardiovascular Risks Negligible
Reduced Testosterone Negligible
Penile Shortening Negligible
Radiation-Induced Cancer of bladder, rectum, other Negligible