Working life: New laser treatment for enlarged prostate 

Working life: New laser treatment for enlarged prostate 

Dr Michel de Wildt consultant urologist Beacon Hospital, Dublin.

Michel de Wildt, consultant urologist, Beacon Hospital, Sandyford


On the days I’m performing surgery, I’ve an early start. I live in South Dublin and it’s a 15-minute drive to Sandyford. I’m new to Beacon Hospital. Before, I worked in my native Netherlands for 20 years. My Irish wife and children moved here two years ago to experience the Irish way of life. Initially, I was visiting at weekends. Fortunately, I was able to move here and join them three months ago.


I go over my patient notes and talk to colleagues to make sure the theatre is prepped. Later this morning I will treat a patient with an enlarged prostate, which is blocking the flow of urine. I will use a surgical procedure known as HoLEP, which uses a laser to remove the obstructive prostate tissue completely.

I was the first urologist to start this procedure in the Netherlands in 2015 and now I am introducing it to Ireland.

This morning I start with a patient to remove his kidney stones. Usually, stones are in the kidney or ureter.


I see another patient in theatre. He’s aged over 50 and suitable for HoLEP. Usually, a TURP is performed, which has been standard of care for 50 years, using electrical current to cut through prostate tissue. This, unfortunately, has side effects of bleeding during surgery and the weeks afterwards. 

HoLEP, the modern alternative to TURP, causes hardly any bleeding and is very effective at removing all obstructive prostate tissue. With HoLEP there is no regrowth of prostate tissue either, therefore no need for repeated treatment which often happens after TURP.


I go check on my patients to see how they’re doing post-surgery. On days that I don’t have surgery, I run an outpatient clinic in the afternoon.


I discuss HoLEP with a patient considering the surgery. It’s suitable for men with an enlarged prostate who no longer respond to medical treatment for urinating complaints. My experience in the Netherlands has been that these patients are extremely satisfied with their results.


There’s a good Dunnes Stores in Sandyford so I pick up something for dinner. My race bike has finally arrived from the Netherlands so I am looking forward to some serious cycling in Wicklow and the Dublin Mountains in my downtime. 

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