Definitive, new technique uses laser to treat enlarged prostate

Guilherme Tavares

Urologist Filemon Silva Casafus talks about the benefits of the new technique

More efficient and less invasive, a new technique that uses high-power laser to treat benign prostate enlargement is now being performed in Bauru. The method is considered definitive and can be used in prostates weighing up to 200 grams, while other conventional surgeries deal with tissues weighing up to 80 grams. Recently, two patients successfully underwent the procedure at Hospital Unimed Bauru (HUB), the fourth in Interior Paulista to perform it and the first in the system to incorporate the technology.

Named HoLEP (Endoscopic Enucleation of the Prostate with Holmium Laser), the technique shrinks the prostate using a laser. Unlike traditional surgery, which requires a large incision in the abdomen, the new procedure is done through six small holes, reducing bleeding, which also provides a faster recovery.

“In the common treatment, the path is made through the bladder. Afterwards, the patient has a tube for seven days to urinate. In this new technique, we access through the urinary channel and he uses the tube only one day”, explains urologist Filemon Silva Casafus, who was the lead surgeon in charge of the procedure. Doctors Alexandre Iscaife (proctor) and Márcio André Sales (assistant surgeon) also participated.

If compared to the RTU technique (a kind of prostate scraping and also considered minimally invasive), HoLEP would still have an advantage because it is definitive. “In TUR, usually after five years, the prostate grows back,” adds Filemon. The disadvantage, points out the doctor, is that the new method is not offered by the SUS and is not on the list of procedures for medical insurance defined by the National Health Agency (ANS).

RECURRENT

In Brazil, benign prostate enlargement affects 40% of men between 60 and 70 years old, according to the Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU). Even from the age of 50, the condition appears in up to a quarter of the male population. It is associated with genetic determinants, but external causes such as obesity can be risk factors. Despite not being a cancer, it causes situations that culminate in reduced quality of life, such as urinary incontinence and, in extreme cases, constant infections.

“We are always looking for innovations, investing in technology and training our professionals, with the aim of offering our beneficiaries quality care, safe procedures that guarantee an excellent recovery”, highlights Roberson Antequera Moron, superintendent director of the HUB.

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