Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate: morbidity in a series of 206 patients

Urology. 2003 Jul;62(1):59-63. doi: 10.1016/s0090-4295(03)00124-9.


Objectives: To review the complications associated with 206 holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) procedures. HoLEP is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of HoLEPs performed from April 1, 1999 to October 1, 2001. Patients with previous diagnoses of prostate carcinoma or who had undergone HoLEP after admission for unrelated problems were excluded. Demographic, intraoperative, and immediate postoperative data were recorded to determine the incidence of complications. Patients were also contacted by telephone or mailed surveys for documentation of longer term complications.

Results: The mean age and procedure time was 70.5 years (range 45 to 91) and 133.6 minutes (range 25 to 473), respectively. The mean specimen weight was 68.2 g (range 3 to 376), with 20 (9.7%) of 206 patients diagnosed with adenocarcinoma. The mean hospital stay was 1.1 days, with 86.9% of patients discharged after an overnight stay without a catheter. Two patients required postoperative transfusions (1.0%). No deaths, major complications (myocardial infarction or pulmonary embolism), or transurethral resection syndrome episodes occurred. Intraoperative complications consisted of three capsular perforations (1.5%), one bladder neck false passage (0.5%), four incomplete morcellations (1.9%), and four minor bladder mucosal morcellation injuries (1.9%). Of 206 patients, 173 (84.0%) provided follow-up data (mean 19.0 +/- 8.4 months), allowing documentation of longer term complications, including five clot retention episodes (2.4%), five urethral strictures (2.4%), eight bladder neck contractures (3.9%), and 16 patients requiring re-catheterization (7.8%).

Conclusions: HoLEP can be performed with minimal complication risks and blood loss. Patients can expect an overnight hospital stay and discharge without an indwelling catheter.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Holmium
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / surgery*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urethral Stricture / etiology
  • Urinary Bladder / injuries


  • Holmium