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Enlarging problem for men has new alternative

  • October 2, 2007
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Barnes-Jewish Urologist Offers New Procedure For Enlarged Prostate

January 10, 2007, ST. LOUIS – If you''ve watched much TV lately, you''ve probably seen commercials offering more than you want to know about enlarged prostates.

It''s because virtually all men experience some prostate enlargement as they age. It leads to difficulty in urinating and frequent bathroom trips. Medications work in most cases, but due to side effects, many opt for an uncomfortable surgery.

However, doctors have a new laser based procedure called a Holmium Laser Ablation of the Prostate (HoLAP). It''s a far less invasive option for millions suffering from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

"There are fewer side affects as far as bleeding and scraping and irrigation to the bladder," says Sam Bhayani, MD, Washington University urologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

That bleeding comes from the traditional transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). As one can imagine, Dr. Bhayani says news of a treatment involving bleeding didn''t exactly have men beating down the door of their local urologist:

"This amount of invasiveness to the procedure was a turnoff to a lot of men and currently a TURP is performed as sort of a last resort and men are willing to stay on the medicines until the last possible minute until they can''t urinate at all," says Dr. Bhayani.

That''s now changing. Dr. Bhayani says the HoLAP performs the same procedure as the TURP but without the side affects.

"When the surgeon goes in with the laser to laser open the prostate, there isn''t the bleeding and scraping, there isn''t the catheterization with irrigation to the bladder and it can be done as an outpatient procedure," he says.

Dr. Bhayani began using the HoLAP at Barnes-Jewish around six months ago and says his patients tolerate it well with fewer side effects.

"In fact there are a lot of patients who would rather have the laser prostatectomy than be on the medicines like the alpha blockers and hormonal pills," says Dr. Bhyani. "They''d prefer to just go in, have their prostate lasered open and that''s it and they''re fine."

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