10 Shocking HoLEP Long-Term Side Effects

Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate, also known as HoLEP, is a surgery of the male urinary tract. This article outlines HoLEP long-term side effects.

Doctors usually conduct the surgery using a laser to remove any blockages of urine flow. Therefore, the process does not involve any incisions to body parts. 

However, as much as the surgery benefits the patient, it might have long-term side effects. Therefore, it is vital to understand the shocking HoLEP long-term side effects before deciding on undergoing surgery. 

These side effects follow research from peer-reviewed health journals and various patient reviews. 

Does HoLEP Remove the Entire Prostate?

HoLEP is a laser surgical procedure. The process involves removing part of the prostate that causes urine blockage. Moreover, the process can also help in treating an enlarged prostate. 

Therefore, the procedure does not remove the entire prostate but only the portion that blocks urine flow. 

How Painful is HoLEP Surgery?

The procedure uses laser technology. This approach means that the process is not painful. However, the patient can have minor discomfort since the catheter irritates the bladder and penis. 

HoLEP is a minimally invasive procedure. The pulses of a laser beam remove the prostate tissue surrounding the urethra.

Besides, doctors can remove the catheter after 24 hours, and the patient can continue their daily routine. 

How Long Does a HoLEP Procedure Last?

The duration of any medical procedure depends on the task at hand. For the HoLEP process, the time depends on the size of the prostate. Therefore, the surgery can take between 3 and 4 hours. 

It is also vital to avoid alarming HoLEP with long-term side effects. 

Furthermore, HoLEP relieves patients for up to ten years after surgery. However, older patients and those who didn’t recover completely after surgery have a higher risk of symptoms recurring.

Who is a Good Candidate for HoLEP Surgery?

Any person with a blocked urinary tract is a candidate for HoLEP surgery. However, the surgery is necessary for individuals with urinary tract complications that do not respond appropriately to medication. 

The surgery is also necessary for patients with recurrent urine retention. In addition, people who have developed swelling in their kidneys can find a helpful procedure.

Finally, HoLEP surgery can also benefit patients with bladder stones.

Therefore, seeking a doctor’s opinion is vital before going for surgery. 

Can a Removed Prostate Grow Back?

If a 50-year-old patient has an enlarged prostate that weighs more than 50g, the prostate can regrow after surgery.

The larger the prostate, the higher the risk of regrowth.

Does HoLEP Need a Catheter?

A catheter is only necessary at the end of the HoLEP procedure. Its primary function is to drain the bladder. Therefore, a catheter is essential for HoLEP surgery to be successful.  

However, the catheterization time is brief compared to other surgery options.

10 Shocking HoLEP Long-Term Side Effects

#1. Urethral Stricture

Urethral stricture is scarring that narrows the urethra. As a result, this restricts urine flow from the bladder.

This symptom can cause other conditions, such as infection or inflammation of the urinary tract. Patients in recovery should seek medical attention as soon as they can.

It’s treated by dilating the urethra. Another option is cutting the stricture using a scope. In addition, doctors can surgically reconstruct the urethra.

#2. Incontinence

Incontinence is another one of the HoLEP long-term side effects. This symptom refers to a condition where one cannot have control over urination voluntarily. Furthermore, it can lead to bedwetting. 

Most patients regain urinary control within three to eighteen months. Doctors can treat severe urinary incontinence with an artificial urinary sphincter.

Patients can also experience stress incontinence, urinating whenever they sneeze or cough.

However, if a patient is experiencing this long-term side effect, it is vital to see a doctor before it worsens. 

#3. Erectile Dysfunction 

Erectile dysfunction is also one of the alarming HoLEP long-term side effects. Research also points out that this condition is the inability of an individual to maintain a firm erection during sexual intercourse.

Having erectile dysfunction can also have psychological effects. 

In such a case, the patient needs to see a specialist for treatment. 

#4. Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation is also one of the shocking HoLEP long-term side effects. 

Research shows that this condition refers to a situation where, during male orgasm, semen enters the bladder instead of exiting through the penis. This is also known as a dry orgasm.

This condition can lead to the patient ejaculating very little or no semen. Therefore, it is vital to get treatment if a patient is experiencing this side effect. 

It isn’t harmful, but it can lead to male infertility.

#5. Bladder Neck Contraction

Bladder neck contraction is also one of the alarming HoLEP long-term side effects.

study points out that it is a complication of the bladder that results from surgery. The condition mainly emanates from the primary treatment of the prostate before conducting HoLEP surgery. 

Therefore, this side effect also requires advice from a qualified health practitioner. 

#6. Urinary Tract Infection

Another one of the shocking HoLEP long-term side effects is urinary tract infection. According to a study, this condition generally results from harmful bacteria entering the urethra after the surgery.

This condition can also affect the bladder. 

In such a case, the patient should see a doctor for treatment. 

#7. Bleeding After the Surgery

Another one of the shocking HoLEP long-term side effects is bleeding after surgery. The procedure does not require any incision of the body, which means that bleeding can be very alarming. 

In such a case, the patient will require specialized medical treatment. Therefore, the patient should go back to the doctor. 

#8. Damage to the Bladder

Damage to the bladder is another shocking HoLEP long-term side effect. This damage can have several health consequences, including being unable to control urination.

Furthermore, the damage can also result from an infection of the urinary tract. 

Therefore, any patient experiencing this side effect after surgery should see a specialized doctor. 

#9. Urethra Injury

Urethra injury is another one of the possible HoLEP long-term side effects. This condition can occur if laser surgery affects the urethra. The state can also lead to bleeding and pain during urination. 

In such a case, the patient needs to seek specialized treatment from a qualified health practitioner. 

#10. Burning and Bleeding During Urination

Burning sensation and bleeding during urination are other shocking HoLEP long-term side effects. This condition should be mild and should heal after a few days. It is usually a result of bruising of the urethra during surgery. 

However, adverse cases can lead to other infections, such as UTIs. In such a case, it is vital to seek medical assistance. 


HoLEP is a surgical procedure that helps unlock the blockage of the urinary tract. The process is usually done using a laser and does not involve any body incision.

The procedure also takes a maximum of 4 hours, depending on how swollen the prostate is.

However, even though the process is ordinarily successful, some patients can experience shocking HoLEP side effects. In such a case, it is vital to seek immediate medical help because some symptoms are alarming. 

However, HoLEP is generally safe and is effective in treating prostate conditions, such as a blocked urinary tract or enlarged prostate.

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