Prostate Biopsy

How is a Prostate Biopsy used to Diagnose Prostate Cancer?

A trans-rectal ultrasound is performed to evaluate men considered to be at risk for prostate cancer. Since early prostate cancer cannot be diagnosed with the ultrasound results alone, a trans-rectal ultrasound is usually performed with a simultaneous prostate biopsy. Trans-rectal ultrasound may also be used to obtain the volume or size of the prostate for treatment planning purposes and when trans-urethral resection of the prostate or thermal therapies of the prostate are planned.

What to expect with a Prostate Biopsy.

You may be asked to use an enema prior to the procedure to ensure an adequate examination. You will lie on your side on an examination table. A transducer will be inserted into the rectum to obtain an image of the prostate. After measuring the prostate volume and identifying any suspicious areas, biopsies will be obtained by inserting a special needle through a channel on the transducer. Six to 14 biopsies are usually performed. Local anesthesia may or may not be used when performing the biopsy.

The main risks of the procedure include infection and bleeding from the rectum or bladder. You may also notice blood in your ejaculate for several weeks. This is common and is not a cause for concern. You will be asked to refrain from heavy physical activity for 48 hours after the procedure. Oral antibiotics will be administered prior to and after the biopsy to reduce the risk of infection.