This weekend I’ve been in Shanghai attending the 2nd Holmium Lasers in Urology Symposium. The meeting attracted over 200 Urologists from around China with another 5000 watching a live webcast and posting questions via a webchat service.
The presentations were on a wide variety of topics covering all of the applications of the Holmium laser in Urology. These are as far reaching as treatment of kidney and bladder stones, bladder and kidney tumours and Holmium laser enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP). I was honored to be asked to give a presentation on prostate morcellation – the second step in HoLEP that allows the enucleated prostatic tissue to be shaved down to smaller fragments and retrieved for tissue analysis. It was great to meet Colleagues from around China, Korea and Japan and to see the other great presentations from regional experts and thought leaders. The meeting was in the 2nd Military Hospital of Shanghai – the largest in China, and a very impressive and modern facility.
It was clear from the quality of the presentations that the standard of Urological Care in China is very high. The number of cases that are dealt with by the average Urologist is staggering. There are approximately 20,000 Urologists in China (compared with 250 in Australia). There is no such thing as a GP or family doctor in China, so anyone who thinks they have a Urological problem will just turn up to the hospital and ask to see a Urologist! Often they will turn up at 6 am, hours before the clinic starts and wait until they are seen. Some Urologists can see 100 patients in a day – which doesn’t leave much time for each patient!
In the larger hospitals, they have all the cutting edge technology such as a high powered Holmium laser and robotic surgery.
HoLEP is becoming more popular in China. As outlined in the presentations at the meeting, the patient benefits and economic benefits of this minimally invasive procedure are obvious and well studied It is carried out in over 100 centers. The number of academic publications coming out of China looking at outcomes after HoLEP is growing yearly. A new multi centred study comprising 54 sites will conduct a randomised trial comparing HoLEP to bipolar Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
From discussion with the doctors in China and my own observations it struck me that the burgeoning middle class in China is becoming very interested in fitness, wellness, and looking after their health. They expect and want to have the same level of healthcare as we do in the western world.
It was a pleasure to be able to share some of my experiences with HoLEP with my colleagues in this amazing country.
A webcast of the conference is a available here. My presentation is around 3:08.
© Perth Urology Clinic 2016