Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate, or HoLEP, is a treatment option for obstructive urinary tract symptoms due to an enlarged prostate. 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. In 85% of cases, the urinary catheter can be removed within 24 hours of the procedure, compared to five to seven 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.