Derek Gearman, M.D.
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Advancements in surgical technologies continue to make procedures safer by reducing operative and overall recovery time.
One such urological procedure proven to have both short- and long-term benefits is the holmium laser enucleation of the prostate or HoLEP. This minimally invasive procedure is currently being performed at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, one of only two organizations that offer the procedure in Minnesota.
HoLEP is a treatment option for obstructive urinary tract symptoms due to an enlarged prostate — a condition known as benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH. The procedure uses a specialized scope and laser to remove tissue that is blocking urinary flow through the urethra. The tissue is excised in two or three pieces that easily can be removed through the urethra.
Unlike similar prostate surgical procedures performed for prostates, HoLEP does not require any abdominal incisions. The result is faster recovery and avoidance of inpatient hospitalization for monitoring.
The biggest advantage to choosing HoLEP is its minimally invasive nature — meaning a lower risk of complications, symptom relief and shortened recovery time. Often (85% of the time), the urinary catheter can be removed within 24 hours of the procedure, compared to 5-7 days with other techniques. Many patients can resume normal daily activities within a few days.
Long term, HoLEP greatly improves the health and quality of life of patients. For patients in complete urinary retention, which requires catheters to keep the bladder empty and decompressed, this is one of the best options. Without surgical intervention, patients with complete urinary retention require long-term forms of catheterization to prevent infectious complications and deteriorations in kidney function. The procedure allows the patients to urinate again, immediately eliminating the need for a catheter.
Talk with your primary care provider and make an appointment if you are having trouble urinating and are looking for treatment strategies.
Watch this video to learn more about the HoLEP procedure and if it may be right for you:
Read more about prostate and men's health:
- Get 5 facts about prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests.
- Learn why checkups and screenings are important for men.
- Learn about prostate cancer risks and treatment.
Derek Gearman, M.D., is a urologist in Mankato, Minnesota.