Optical Properties of Human Prostate and Light Distributions Resulting from a Cylindrical Illumination Geometry
Intraluminal photocoagulation of the prostate is currently being evaluated as a promising treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and hypertrophy. The treatment is based on the illumination of the prostate with Nd:YAG laser light transmitted down an optical fibre and using a cylindrically distributing fibre tip at the distal end of the fibre positioned in the urethra. One favourable feature of this technique which arises from this particular illumination geometry is the cooling of the inner surface of the urethra by employing a constant flow of cooling agent during of the treatment. This could avoid the otherwise inevitable thermal destruction of the urethra and reduce patient discomfort and complications after the therapy. In order to get a good understanding of the physical processes involved in this therapeutic technique and to enable some degree of treatment planning, it is necessary to construct a physical model of the thermal interaction of the laser light with the prostatic tissue in a cylindrical geometry. This model has to include both the light and the heat transport.
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