Transurethral Needle Ablation of the Prostate
During a TransUrethral Needle Ablation of the prostate procedure, also referred to as TUNA, a specialized scope is inserted into the urethra, which allows the precise placement of two small needles into the prostate. The needles contain electrodes which are used to apply radiofrequency energy directly to the obstructing tissue. These unique needles have adjustable shields, which protect the urethra from thermal damage. This RF energy heats precise areas in the prostate to 70–100°C, which ablates tissue and seals blood vessels.
Clinical studies show that TUNA reduces symptoms and causes fewer side effects than surgical treatment. Healthy prostate tissue and urethral tissue is unaffected by treatment, and clinical trials indicate that the procedure does not usually cause incontinence or impotence.
TUNA usually takes about 30–60 minutes, depending on the size of the prostate, and is performed on an outpatient basis usually only requiring regional anesthesia. Depending on the size of the prostate, the procedure may be repeated in more than one area of the gland during the treatment session.
After treatment, approximately two percent of patients require catheterization for 1–3 days and antibiotics are prescribed for 3–5 days after removal of the catheter. Minimal discomfort can be treated using over-the-counter pain relievers.