Ross Born knew he had prostate issues. The chief executive officer of Bethlehem-based candy manufacturer Just Born Inc., lived with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) for almost 10 years. The common condition often occurs in men as they age and can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms and even bladder and kidney stones.
Even though the symptoms sometimes hampered his active lifestyle, Born remained positive. “I just made adjustments to my life as needed,” he says.
When lifestyle modifications aren’t enough
In April, Born began to experience worsening symptoms associated with his BPH, including difficulty urinating. Unfortunately, medication wasn’t enough to resolve his issues so he went to the emergency room.
At the Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest emergency room, doctors performed an assessment and determined that he would need to be catheterized in order to ensure he could empty his bladder and prevent infection. While the catheterization offered a short-term solution, it wasn’t going to be a permanent solution.
“The catheterization was really uncomfortable. That’s what made me realize that I needed to do something and take action,” he says.
Born’s urologist, Joseph Feliciano, MD, with LVPG Urology, suggested that he would be a good candidate for a new surgical procedure being offered at Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence called holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) and referred him to the only surgeon in the region performing the surgery, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) urologic surgeon James Johannes, MD, with LVPG Urology.
New procedure offers hope
Johannes assured him that HoLEP was a minimally invasive procedure that would remove more prostate tissue with fewer risks and less blood loss than a more invasive procedure.
“You get the same results as with open prostatectomy but go home after about two to three hours postop instead of staying overnight in the hospital,” says Johannes. “Many urologists believe this approach will become the new standard of care for BPH, but it requires specialized training and equipment.” Currently, LVHN is the only provider in the region that offers HoLEP.
Surgery during a pandemic
"I was in and out in a matter of hours, and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful and attentive,” he says.
Although Born was more than ready to have the procedure, elective surgeries were not being scheduled at the time due to the pandemic, which meant he needed to remain catheterized for an additional three weeks while waiting to have the surgery.
Born was among the first patients to undergo elective surgery in May at Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street. He says the experience was seamless. “I was actually looking forward to the surgery! I was in and out in a matter of hours, and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful and attentive,” he says.
Following HoLEP, Born says his recovery went well and he hasn’t had any issues. “A perfect outcome! I can’t thank Drs. Johannes and Feliciano and their entire team enough,” he says.