July 21, 2021

The Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP) is a procedure for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) that uses a laser to remove tissue that is blocking urine flow through the prostate. A separate instrument is then used to cut the prostate tissue into easily removable fragments.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common medical condition. As the prostate grows benignly and enlarges (BPH) it begins to press on and obstruct the urethra. This causes symptoms such as frequent daytime urination, getting up at night frequently to urinate, a weak or slow stream, the feeling of not emptying the bladder completely, and an urgent need to urinate or difficulty starting a urinary stream.

HoLEP procedure eliminates the prostate tissue that blocks urinary flow and relieves the urinary symptoms of BPH that are disruptive to life.

HoLEP was developed in the 1990s as a more effective and potentially less costly surgery for urinary obstruction due to BPH, as compared to other surgical options.

HoLEP is an extremely specialized procedure that requires intensive, mentored training during urology residency or fellowship. Due to the steep learning curve, there are very few urologic surgeons and institutions in the country currently teaching and performing this procedure.

HoLEP is performed in a surgical center and requires the patient to be under general anesthesia. It has been shown to be a safe and effective procedure. HoLEP offers a unique advantage in being able to remove a large amount of tissue without any incisions on the body, even in very large prostates, while decreasing the risk of bleeding and providing tissue for pathology (to look for cancer).

The procedure has been recommended by the American Urological Association as a safe and effective treatment for men with BPH and prostate symptoms. While it may be used to treat a wide range of men with prostates of all sizes, it is especially advantageous in treating patients with severely enlarged prostates.

It has been found that HoELP is a less invasive surgery with faster recovery and minimal-to-no effect on sexual function. It provides rapid relief of urinary symptoms and is long-lasting.

Not all men with BPH are candidates for HoLEP, however, but other surgical and medical treatment options are available. 

If you would like to discuss treatment options for BPH, including the HoLEP, contact Austin Urology Institute to schedule an appointment at 512.694.8888.

To learn about other BPH treatments, see Rezum vs. Urolift.