This Innovative Procedure Solves Prostate Problems: HoLEP

Inspiring young musicians is all in a day’s work for Scott Stinson, a professor at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. The award-winning composer knows how to embrace innovation and push the boundaries of musical experience.

At age 58, when Stinson sought a solution for his enlarged prostate, (a problem that plagues 50 percent of American males his age), he was pleased to discover an innovative answer close to home. After meeting with University of Miami Health System urologist Dr. Hemendra Shah, he learned that Dr. Shah is one of only nine urologists in the U.S. performing holmium laser enucleation (HoLEP).

An incision-free procedure, HoLEP offers several advantages over the traditional treatment for an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that affects 70 percent of U.S. males 60–69 years of age and 80 percent of those age 70 and older.

“HoLEP has many benefits, including quick recovery and minimal pain. However, as a urologist, I see two major advantages. It allows me to preserve prostate tissue to be tested for cancer and secondly, it can be performed on any size prostate, including those that normally require major surgery,” he says, adding, “In Scott’s case, that was critical.”

By the time Scott Stinson met with Dr. Shah, his BPH had gone on for 10 years. “I knew urinary problems caused by the prostate were common at my age, but it wasn’t interfering with my life. I wasn’t concerned until I started having to make more frequent trips to the bathroom and I began to feel pain.”

When Dr. Shah performed a scan of Scott’s bladder, he thought the scanner needed calibrating. “His bladder was the largest I’d seen in about 20 years. His prostate was so enlarged, it wouldn’t allow his bladder to fully empty,” he recalls.

After normalizing Scott’s bladder with catheterization, Dr. Shah performed the HoLEP procedure. “It was fast and easy, with zero pain afterward. Everything went extremely well, even better than expected,” Stinson says.

Stinson had to use a catheter longer than most patients, due to his severely enlarged bladder. The majority of HoLEP patients use a catheter just 24 hours, stay in the hospital one or two days, and recover in two weeks.

Other benefits of HoLEP include:

  • Minimal pain and swelling
  • Fewer complications
  • Low-depth holenium laser protects surrounding healthy tissue
  • Long-term relief: less than 1% chance of needing re-treatment
  • Lower risk of erectile dysfunction
  • PSA counts typically drop to very low levels after HoLEP

“HoLEP is not widely available because the procedure is technically challenging for the physician,” says Dr. Shah, who has performed more than 1,600 HoLEP procedures since 2003. Dr. Shah also mentors other urologists in learning the technique and publishes papers on the topic. “As an academic medical center, we resolve to do what’s best for our patients, even if it requires an extra investment in training and research to do so.”

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Shah, call 305-243-6090 or click here.