Minimally invasive procedure for a common prostate condition

By The Health News Team | February 23, 2022
Stephen Fogel pictured with his wife

Thanks to receiving the HoLEP procedure, Stephen Fogel (pictured with his wife) has been able to go on a road trip and travel internationally without prostate issues.

Stephen Fogel, 69, had never experienced a prostate problem until May 2020, when he began to struggle to urinate. Eventually, he went to the emergency room, where he learned he had an infected prostate that was affecting his kidneys.

Once his kidneys recovered, Stephen was told he needed surgery for a benign (noncancerous) prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate, which affects half of all men by age 60. While some men do not experience symptoms that affect their everyday life, such as difficulty urinating, frequently urinating or an urgent need to urinate, others need surgery to relieve the symptoms.

Stephen’s former doctor, not affiliated with Sharp, suggested a surgical procedure that involves cutting the inside of the prostate gland. “I knew it was an effective method, but I didn’t like that it’s associated with a longer recovery time,” says Stephen.

A timely recommendation from a friend
Coincidentally, Stephen’s friend on the East Coast was facing the same condition. The friend told Stephen about a minimally invasive procedure he underwent called holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP).

The procedure uses a laser that is inserted through the urethra with a thin, long tube to remove part of the affected prostate. Stephen’s friend was incredibly satisfied with the surgery’s result.

“I wanted to see if HoLEP could be a possibility for me, too, but I learned not many physicians perform the procedure, as it requires specialized training,” says Stephen. “The health care system I was in did not offer HoLEP.”

Luckily, Stephen found a urologist at Sharp HealthCare who performs HoLEP: Dr. Tracy Marien, who is affiliated with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group and Sharp Memorial Hospital. He visited her office and learned he was a good candidate for the procedure.

“HoLEP seemed more appealing to me, as it uses a laser to make controlled, precise movements, and there is less recovery time in the hospital,” says Stephen.

Noninvasive procedure provides relief
In July 2020, Dr. Marien performed the HoLEP procedure on Stephen. He only needed to stay in the hospital one night. Within two months, Stephen was feeling back to normal.

“I was happy that I had no residual pain and that my treatment process at Sharp went very smoothly,” Stephen says. “I had great trust in Dr. Marien, and the nurses who cared for me were very kind.”

Dr. Marien is pleased to hear that she was able to help Stephen. “Some alternative surgical options for an enlarged prostate require incisions, have longer recovery times and less durability,” she says. “I’m glad that with my additional training and expertise, I can offer the HoLEP procedure.”

Stephen says he no longer experiences a frequent need to urinate, which has helped him take a road trip to the Pacific Northwest and travel internationally to Austria to spend time with his sons.

“I’m grateful to have had a positive experience with a professional, dependable team at Sharp,” says Stephen.

Learn more about treatments for urologic conditions at Sharp.

For the news media: To talk with Dr. Marien about HoLEP, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at erica.carlson@sharp.com.


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