Transurethral needle ablation of the prostate

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Transurethral needle ablation of the prostate
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Transurethral needle ablation (Also called TUNA or transurethral radiofrequency ablation) is a technique that uses low energy radio frequency energy delivered through two needles to ablate (destroy) excess prostate tissue. The energy from the probe heats and destroys the abnormal prostate tissue without damaging the urethra. It can be done with a local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. A catheter that deploys the needles toward the obstructing prostate tissue is inserted into the urethra directly through the penis under local anesthetic before the procedure begins. Transurethral needle ablation can be used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).

Some clinical studies have reported that TUNA is safe and effective, improving the urine flow with minimal side effects when compared with other procedures.[1][2] However, other studies have reported that the procedure has a high failure rate, with the majority of patients requiring re-treatment.[3]


The TUNA system was pioneered by Stuart Denzil Edwards of California, USA. The device was the product for a startup company called Vidamed. Vidamed was founded in 1992 by Stu D. Edwards along with Ron G. Lax, Hugh Sharky and Ingemar Henry Lundquist, in Menlo Park, California, prior to building an international global corporation headed up by Lyle F. Brotherton. The company was floated in an IPO on the US NASDAQ Stock Market in 1995 and then acquired by Medtronic in 2001.[4]


  1. Steele GS, Sleep DJ (November 1997). "Transurethral needle ablation of the prostate: a urodynamic based study with 2-year followup". J. Urol. 158 (5): 1834–8. doi:10.1016/S0022-5347(01)64140-5. PMID 9334612.
  2. Tubaro A, De Nunzio C, Miano R (January 2007). "Transurethral needle ablation of the prostate". Current Opinion in Urology. 17 (1): 7–11. doi:10.1097/MOU.0b013e328011ab98. PMID 17143104.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. Rosario DJ, Phillips JT, Chapple CR (March 2007). "Durability and cost-effectiveness of transurethral needle ablation of the prostate as an alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate when alpha-adrenergic antagonist therapy fails". J. Urol. 177 (3): 1047–51, discussion 1051. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2006.10.042. PMID 17296409.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "Medtronic agrees to acquire Vidamed". In Cube Labs. 2001-12-06. Retrieved 2013-07-08.

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