100th laser procedure milestone by Durban facility treating enlarged prostate

The first minimally invasive HoLEP procedure, performed at Netcare Parklands Hospital

Tuesday, June 25 2019

No fewer than one hundred HoLEP (holmium laser enucleation of the prostate) procedures to treat the debilitating symptoms of enlarged prostate, have been performed at Netcare Parklands Hospital in Durban since the procedure was first introduced to South Africa a year ago.

“The first minimally invasive HoLEP procedure, performed at Netcare Parklands Hospital, heralded the introduction of this important new laser treatment option for severely benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, to South Africa. The successful completion of the 100th procedure is a remarkable achievement for urologist, Dr Amit Kalpee and his team at the hospital,” says Craig Murphy, regional director of Netcare’s coastal hospitals.

“Dr Kalpee, who completed the European HoLEP Masterclass and was the first HoLEP surgeon in South Africa, is now also acting as proctor in training other urologists in this groundbreaking minimally invasive procedure. We congratulate him and his team on reaching this milestone which has brought hope to older men in South Africa looking for relief from debilitating BPH symptoms.”

Pic: Urologist, Dr Amit Kalpee, and his team recently completed their 100th  minimally invasive HoLEP (holmium laser enucleation of the prostate) procedure at Netcare Parklands Hospital in Durban.

Dr Kalpee says that it is to be expected that a man’s prostate will enlarge with age, as the cells of the prostate begin to swell. In some older men, however, the prostate becomes so enlarged that it starts to obstruct the urethra through which urine drains, resulting in symptoms such as difficulties in passing urine.

“As affected men will tell you, this results in them having to go to the toilet much more often, and many have to get up at intervals throughout the night. Such symptoms can therefore have a negative impact on older men’s quality of life and may increase the risk of bladder infection. Serious blockages carry the risk of kidney complications if they are not treated,” adds Dr Kalpee.

According to the urologist, HoLEP involves using a special high-powered laser to remove the gland that causes obstruction of the urethra. The procedure therefore works to effectively resolve BPH symptoms such as urine blockage.
The team’s 100th patient, 59-year-old Mr Paul Shannon, who hails from Durban, says that he is grateful to have had the benefit of the HoLEP procedure, which was completed a month ago. “It was reassuring for me to know that Dr Kalpee is a leading expert in this procedure and that he and his colleagues are so experienced in it,” he added.

“I had very little pain following the procedure and was able to go home the next day. While it is early days still, I have had no negative side effects other than some tenderness, and the procedure has assisted in relieving my symptoms. My recovery from the procedure was so quick that I have just returned from an overseas trip where I was able to walk around 10km a day,” says Mr Shannon.

Dr Kalpee says that HoLEP is completed under anaesthetic with the assistance of a tiny camera which, together with the laser instrument, is mounted on a fine telescopic rod that is inserted into the urethra via the penis.

It is a less invasive alternative to the traditionally used procedure for bladder outflow obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate, which is known as the transurethral resection of the prostate procedure (TURP). Patients are therefore usually able to go home the day after the procedure.

According to Dr Kalpee, HoLEP is particularly suitable for men with enlarged non-cancerous prostates where medication is either proving ineffective or where it may cause side effects. HoLEP is also safe and an important new option for older men on blood thinning medication.

“The procedure does not generally affect erectile function or continence, although the possible urinary symptoms may take a few weeks to settle down afterwards. Patients are advised to take it easy and to avoid straining or heavy lifting for four weeks after the procedure,” he concludes.


Issued by:            MNA on behalf of Netcare Parklands Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]