What is BPH?
The gradual enlargement of the prostate is a non-cancerous disease common among aging men. The enlarged prostate can intrude into the urethra causing partial or complete obstruction of urine flow. This condition is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. While BPH is usually not life threatening, it can cause considerable discomfort, with complete obstruction leading to emergency surgery for resolution. Over half of all men over 50 have BPH symptoms, with the percentage growing to 80% of men over 80. Due to the overall aging of society, the number of men seeking treatment over the next 20 years is expected to increase.
The holmium laser is ideal for precisely and cleanly ablating without charring or overheating tissue. Since the holmium absorption depth is only .5 mm or less, tissue is ablated faster than heat is conducted into surrounding tissue. Holmium energy is delivered in a pulsed mode with each pulse containing enough energy to vaporize the tissue. The vaporized tissue is removed before it can conduct heat, which minimizes thermal damage. The resulting what-you-see-is-what-you-get effect contrasts to the coagulating effects of Nd:YAG and KTP lasers whose wavelengths penetrate deeper and extend below the visible tissue surface.
Hemostasis with holmium is remarkably good. Its localized coagulation effect seals the tissue and provides hemostasis superior to electrocautery instruments without producing deeper thermal injury associated with Nd:YAG or KTP lasers. The holmium coagulating effect minimizes fluid absorption better than electrocautery.
The ablating and hemostasis features of holmium make it an excellent energy choice for BPH treatment. When stone fragmentation benefits are considered, the holmium laser is the best and most cost effective choice for treating both stone disease and BPH—two of the most common reasons patients visit the urologist.
Holmium Prostate Treatments
Since its introduction, holmium laser prostatectomy has undergone rigorous scientific studies that substantiate its surgical equivalence to the traditional electrocautery procedure (TURP) with fewer patient complications and faster patient return to normal activities. Whether performing holmium laser enucleation (HoLEP) or holmium laser ablation (HoLAP) of the prostate, the procedure can be done as a day case or in a 23-hour facility. HoLEP and HoLAP treatments offer many benefits including:
* Immediate removal of tissue and symptoms.
* Virtually bloodless and minimally invasive technique.
* Short catheterization time.
* Few complications.
* Short convalescence.
* Cost-effective solutions—hospitals gain unmatched economic benefits by utilizing the multipurpose holmium laser for stones, strictures, tumors AND BPH treatment.
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