Urological Surgeon Giovanni Losco with the laser machine used for the HoLEP surgery at Forte Health.


Te auahatanga

Surgical milestone reached as HoLEPs hit 100!

3rd May 2022

Giovanni Losco is celebrating a milestone surgery, as he completes his 100th HoLEP operation – a modern surgical solution to a common complaint for men.

HoLEP stands for Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate. It’s a surgery performed to fix what Urological Surgeon Giovanni describes as a bad design in the male anatomy.

“For many older men their prostate becomes enlarged, squeezing the urethra and causing troubles urinating, such as poor flow or having to rush to the toilet. It’s one of the most frequent problems we see in men,” says Giovanni.

The traditional operation to fix the issue is known as a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate), however in 2018, after seeing the HoLEP surgery performed while in Tauranga (the centre where the operation was originally pioneered), Giovanni returned to Forté Health with this technique.

“The HoLEP is a more modern approach that uses a laser to cut away part of the prostate to reduce the constriction of urine flow. The laser can remove more of the prostate compared to the electrical current used in a TURP, and it does it without burning the tissue. While the HoLEP is a longer operation, the fact we can remove more of the prostate often results in a longer-lasting solution for the patient.

“The HoLEP is also a more sustainable option, as a TURP uses two disposable electrodes per operation, whereas the laser fibre used in the HoLEP can be reused for ten surgeries before it needs to be replaced,” says Giovanni.

The operation is only possible thanks to Urology Associates’ investment in the $150,000 laser machine that the surgery requires. As a result, Forté Health is the only hospital in Christchurch where a HoLEP can be performed.

“Committing to the equipment and training needed to perform this operation is a big investment for any hospital, but it gives patients choice. While the TURP and the HoLEP are both good surgical solutions for a common problem, by offering both operations at Forté Health patients can choose which operation is right for them.”

Forté Health CEO Rachel Hillyer says since its inception, Forté has been dedicated to leading the industry with innovative surgical solutions.

“We’re always looking for how we can do things better to ensure we’re providing the best opportunities and solutions for our patients, our people, and the medical specialists who choose to operate here,” says Rachel.

It’s this kaupapa that attracts Giovanni to Forté Health, where he completes the majority of his private work.

“I really love the feel of Forté. It’s got a great vibe. It’s so patient-centered, with great staff who work really hard. It’s also a place where you feel heard, where management listen, are open to ideas and are future-focused.

“It’s that innovative and forward-thinking approach that has enabled modern operations, such as the HoLEP, to be possible, and it’s special to be helping my 100th HoLEP patient at Forté this week,” says Giovanni.

Giovanni’s 100th HoLEP operation is taking place on Thursday 5 May.