Wigan teacher Graham first to have pioneering prostate surgery

Matthew Liew with Graham Royles
Matthew Liew with Graham Royles

Ground-breaking prostate surgery will be performed for the first time in Wigan next week.


Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust urology consultant, Matthew Liew, will conduct the first Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP) surgery on primary school teacher, Graham Royles, who is the first person in Greater Manchester to undergo the operation.

Other news: Wigan doctors signing 119 sick notes a day

Mr Royles, from Abram, is hopeful that the procedure will change his life.

He said; “Somebody has to be the first and I’m glad it’s me, even though there is, of course, some trepidation. However, I have complete confidence in Mr Liew.”

Mr Liew said: “I feel that there is an unmet need in the region for patients suffering with the consequences of a significantly enlarged prostate. They may have to undergo multiple endoscopic surgeries, or need open surgery to treat the condition successfully.

“HoLEP is an endoscopic procedure using high powered laser energy that has become well established worldwide for the past 20 years.

“Many consider this procedure the new ‘gold’ standard surgical treatment for bladder outflow obstruction due to prostate enlargement as it can treat all prostate sizes and is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).”

Some of the advantages of undergoing a HoLEP procedure include reduced bleeding, better removal of obstruction and improved long term results when compared to the current standard TURP (transurethral resection of prostate) operation.

Mr Liew added: “Recent studies in the UK have shown that the HoLEP surgery can be performed as a day case, or overnight stay in over 70 per cent of cases whereas our current hospital stay for TURP at WWL is around two days.

“There is also a subset of patients who have catheters for years due to reduced bladder contractions who may benefit and finally be catheter free.

“It is a challenging operation to perform and requires formal mentorship which I am very grateful to have had with Professor Shergill at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.”

Mr Royles hopes the surgery is going to have a marked impact on his life.

He said: “Following the procedure, I’m hopeful that life will return to how it used to be.

“I will hopefully no longer have to stop every 30 miles or so to avoid mishaps when I am travelling and will be able to go abroad without fearing queues on the aircraft.

“I hope that my confidence will return and I’ll be able to meet with friends to enjoy a sociable evening. And finally, and most importantly, the door is now open for many of my fellow sufferers to undergo the same procedure in their home towns with a fully operational team of practitioners in the urology department.”

The surgery isn’t just going to have an impact on Graham’s life, but thousands of other people too.

Mr Liew added: “Being able to perform this procedure at WWL will potentially have a huge impact on our patients.

“In the future, I would like to offer this service to patients from the wider area once it is established and we can show the benefits that WWL patients have experienced.”