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Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate

BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia) is generally a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. It is a common medical problem in older men. In Benign prostatic hyperplasia, the prostate gland grows in size which consequently compresses the urethra, affecting the flow of urine. This condition causes retention of urine and other associated problems like slow flow of urine and frequent urination. There may also be few severe symptoms such as urinary tract infections and traces of blood in urine (hematuria or "haematuria")

Unlike prostate cancer, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia usually begins in men at the age of 30 and evolves slowly. Most commonly, the symptoms and signs can be felt after the age of 50. Tests commonly performed for the detection of BPH include PSA test; rectal examination of the prostate; ultrasounds of testicles, prostate, kidneys and other imaging techniques. The results of the rectal examination and the PSA may be sent for further investigations. In case BPH is diagnosed, appropriate treatment will be adopted either drug therapy or surgical therapy. One of therapy sometimes used to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate HoLEP. 

HOLEP Procedure 

Holmium Laser or Green light surgery is used to eliminate obstructive prostatic tissue or vaporize tissue with the intension of leaving a wide channel for restoring usual urinary function. Under anesthesia, a small and supple fibre-optic is inserted into the urethra. This is an instrument through which light pulses are sent to cut away the obstructing prostatic tissues that have got detached from the bladder. Minimal amount of bleeding or pain is caused after this procedure. The usual time taken for this procedure is 60-90 minutes under general or local anesthesia. After this procedure, overnight observation may be required in some cases. 

The two most extensively reported advantages of this laser surgery are abridged risk of bleeding when compared to TURP which is another procedure performed to treat BPH. Most patients can expect a fast development in their urinary flow rate, and a speedy return to normal activities subsequent to the procedure. Laser surgery is also coupled with lesser risks of sexual and other side-effects which are common with TURP. 

Benefits of Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate Technique 

  • Precise ablation of tissue without their overheating or charring 
  • Minimal thermal injury and fluid absorption 
  • cost effective treatment for treating BPH 
  • Fewer and minor complications 
  • Faster recovery, unlike prostate cancer surgeries
  • Instant removal of tissue and bothersome symptoms 
  • Minimally invasive and bloodless technique 
  • Lesser catheterization time 
  • Odd chances of perioperative bladder irrigation 

HOLEP Side Effects 

As far as the side effects are concerned, patients may face urinary tract infection, problem in urinating, etc. Antibiotics may be prescribed to the patients who suffer from the infections after the Holmium laser therapy. 

Do's and Don'ts of HOLEP 

  • Do intake plenty of fresh and clean water to facilitate flushing 
  • Do not strain bowel movement 
  • Eat healthy, balanced and a fiber-rich diet 
  • Do not lift heavy objects or operate heavy machineries 
  • Don’t rush into sexual activities as the body needs sufficient time for healing 
  • Do not ignore presence of blood traces in urine 
  • Do not ignore problem of long-term incontinence