Overview

Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) — also known as radiofrequency ablation — is an outpatient procedure to treat urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate.

A combined visual and surgical instrument (cystoscope) is inserted through the tip of your penis into the tube that carries urine from your bladder (urethra). The prostate surrounds the urethra. Using the cystoscope, your doctor guides a pair of tiny needles into the prostate tissue that is pressing on the urethra.

Radio waves are then passed through the needles, generating heat that creates scar tissue. Special shields protect the urethra from the heat. The scarring shrinks prostate tissue, allowing urine to flow more easily.

TUNA is one of several minimally invasive treatment options for an enlarged prostate, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). To determine the right treatment choice for you, your doctor will consider how severe your symptoms are, what other health problems you have, and the size and shape of your prostate.