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Written by a patient
28th April 2020

Diagnosed with an enlarged prostate in 2013, I experienced a benign TRUS biopsy and was subsequently monitored by regular PSA testing and scans suggested by the consultant team at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. The results indicated a large prostate and fortunately no obvious signs of cancer. My urine flow was weak but it came as a shock to suddenly experience acute retention early in October 2019. A very painful trip to A&E resulted in catheterisation. The pain stopped and although I remained active I felt that the quality of my life had been severely compromised. My local consultant suggested the best way forward was to learn self-catheterisation. The look on my face spoke of my reaction, but I agreed to at least think about it. In the meantime I spoke with an old friend who had experienced the same symptoms and had undergone a very successful Holep procedure in Kent. I researched this and discovered that it was not available in Warwickshire. However I did discover references to Mr Tev Aho a leading and very successful surgeon specialising in this modern procedure. I rejected the offer of self-catheterisation and asked my consultant to refer me to Mr Aho. He told me that if he were ever to need this procedure, Mr Aho would be his choice of surgeon. The referral was made but by early December I had not received a response. I decided to contact Mr Aho’s private secretary directly, who turned out to be the wonderfully understanding and helpful Janice Haddock. I obtained the referral from my GP, photographed it, E-mailed it to Janet, who told me that Mr Aho might be able to add me to his list for early January, great progress! Fifteen minutes later Janet phoned me back; she had spoken to Mr Aho and he had suggested that if I could get to London for a pre op. assessment on 4th December he could carry out the procedure at the Princess Grace Hospital the following Saturday 7th December. Everything worked perfectly and after an overnight stay I was able to return home and prepare for a catheter free Christmas, the best gift I have ever received. Throughout, Mr Aho provided clear information and inspired my absolute confidence in a successful outcome. This was well placed. I was driving again within a couple of days and despite initially a sizeable investment in Tena, began a swift period of recovery aided by daily pelvic floor exercises; by mid February I was really functioning better than I had for years, in fact completely normally. My review in March had to be on the telephone, but resulted in Mr Aho being able to discharge me, although he will continue to monitor my future PSA results. I can’t thank him enough for restoring my quality of life. He tops my list of people I’m most glad to have met. I would unhesitatingly recommend Mr Aho, his team and Holep to anyone in a similar position and hope that through his regional training programmes an even greater number of men can benefit from this advanced and highly effective procedure. Ian Balmer Warwickshire

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