Humber River Health Brings Minimally-Invasive HoLEP Prostate Surgery to the GTA
Today, Humber River Health became the first Hospital in the Greater Toronto Area to offer HoLEP, a minimally invasive treatment for enlarged prostates.
“Enlarged prostates, medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, is a problem that affects nearly all men in their lifetime,” says Dr. Olivier Heimrath, Urologist at Humber River Health. “HoLEP offers a minimally invasive solution for those with larger prostates.”
Prostates naturally enlarge as men age, which can lead to increased difficulty urinating — and, in some cases, the complete inability to urinate.
BPH is a widespread issue, affecting half of 50 year old men and 80% of 80 year old men. But up until now, minimally invasive treatments in the GTA were only available for men with smaller prostates (think: the size of a small plum) – The only option for men with larger prostates (for example, the size of a grapefruit) was an open prostatectomy, which can come with increased medical risks, more blood loss, and longer stays in-hospital.
The new HoLEP procedure at Humber (Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate) is a minimally invasive approach that can treat these large benign prostate cases, without the need for an incision from the outside. In this procedure, Urologists employ a powerful laser to eliminate the extra tissue from the prostate that is blocking urine flow, a process known as ‘enucleation’. After enucleation, the prostate tissue is removed by the surgeons using a piece of equipment called a Piranha Morcellator. This breaks down the tissue into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces can then be gently removed through the urethra.
Under the leadership of Dr. Olivier Heimrath, Dr. Jack Barkin, and Dr. Luke Fazio, Humber River Health is the first hospital in the Greater Toronto Area to offer this life-changing procedure to the patients who need it most.
The difference will be substantial for our patients: Patients benefiting from the HoLEP procedure at Humber will experience less pain, fewer complications, and shorter hospital stays than those receiving the traditional open surgery.
“With this new HoLEP procedure, we can shorten hospital stays and perform the whole procedure without making an open cut, with much less chance of bleeding, less pain, and a faster full recovery,” says Dr. Jack Barkin, who performed the first HoLEP procedure at Humber with Drs. Heimrath and Fazio. “It is much better for the patient and the health care system.”
“Bringing HoLEP to Humber coincides well with our new fleet of lasers,” says Dr. Luke Fazio, Division Head of Urology. “It’s the next step in the evolution of treatment for enlarged prostates. I’m proud that we are now able to offer a procedure that hasn’t been widely available in our province that will be helping a large volume of patients.”
As this program matures, the HoLEP procedure at Humber will allow patients to get back to life sooner by:
- Shifting the standard of care from a surgery requiring two days in-hospital to a minimally-invasive procedure with same-day discharge
- Enhancing safety measures, minimizing blood loss, and achieving exceptional outcomes
- Employing minimally invasive techniques without compromising precision
“HoLEP is at the forefront of care and it’s nice to work at a hospital where we can offer the most advanced procedures,” says Dr. Heimrath. “As surgeons, it’s our job to help people, and this is the best equipment to get this done.”
Innovative programs like HoLEP are made possible by our donors. Today we would like to thank the Maxwell and Ruth Leroy Foundation for their leadership donation to this exciting new program.