St. Luke’s offers new minimally invasive prostate procedure

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Dr. Abhay A. Singh of St. Luke’s Urology Center successfully performed the first-ever Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP) procedure at St. Luke’s on a patient in late April. This is the first time this minimally invasive treatment, which many experts consider the gold standard treatment for large prostate glands, has been offered to patients at St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Credit: St. Luke’s University Health Network

Dr. Abhay A. Singh of St. Luke’s Urology Center recently successfully performed the first-ever Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP) procedure at St. Luke’s.

Singh said the network offers a variety of medical and surgical options for men with urination issues, and described the HoLEP procedure as “not only another powerful surgical tool in our arsenal, but also an elegant procedure that has made its proven to help many men, including those with very large prostates, some of whom may otherwise need to consider more invasive surgery.We are excited to offer this surgery to more patients in the future.

The HoLEP procedure is a unique, laser-based, endoscopic surgery for voiding dysfunction; a general term used to describe inefficient or inconsistent coordination between the bladder and urethra. The non-cancerous condition of an enlarged prostate causes dysfunction by preventing urine from emptying effectively, which the procedure resolves by passing a laser through the urethra and cutting tissue. The excess tissue is then ground up and suctioned out, paving the way for a significant improvement in the patient’s ability to urinate completely.

Singh compared the one-and-a-half- to three-hour procedure to cutting out the inside of an orange while leaving the outer rind intact. In addition to reducing bleeding/blood loss, the likelihood of prostate regrowth, and time spent using a catheter, the HoLEP procedure offers physicians the flexibility to treat any size prostate and allows patients to benefit faster healing time.

Singh’s first patient for the procedure at St. Luke’s was unable to urinate at all and had to be catheterized before the HoLEP procedure was performed. He reported that the patient is recovering well and is now urinating without any difficulty.

The ability to offer this minimally invasive surgery to Saint-Luc patients helps treat a common condition in men, especially those over 60, and those with a family history of non-cancerous enlarged prostate. While there’s not much men can do to avoid the disease, Singh noted that those who are diligent about diet and exercise often experience milder symptoms.

Patients say they only wish they had prostate surgery sooner

After performing a series of voiding dysfunction surgeries for years, including HoLEP, Dr Singh said a man’s typical response after undergoing laser prostate reduction treatment is, “I wish do it sooner”.

Many men, he said, “are understandably hesitant or apprehensive about having surgery and dealing with the risk of side effects. They usually put it off until they really have no choice and that’s when they pull the trigger. Afterwards, they feel so much better and realize that they didn’t have to suffer so long.

Singh, who joined St. Luke’s University Health Network in 2021, received his medical degree from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and honed his skills in robotics and endourology – a subspecialty in urology in which minimally invasive techniques are used – thanks to a fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He completed a general surgery fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, followed by a residency in urology at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. After residency, he served as an active U.S. Army Urologist at Fort Benning, Georgia. , and at Fort Belvoir, Va., where he was appointed chief of the urology department.

He specializes in robotic surgeries to treat both cancer (kidney, prostate and bladder) and for reconstructive purposes, as well as endoscopic surgeries that treat urination disorders and stones in both men and women.

Note: This sponsored health content is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.

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