A Prostate Biopsy is a procedure whereby a small amount of prostate tissue is removed through a needle. The needle is guided under ultrasound imaging to ensure accuracy in the examination. Prostate Biopsies are used as a diagnostic tool for assessing prostate disease.
It is often the third step in the following management process:
- Rectal examination by your doctor.
- Blood test, particularly for PSA level.
- Ultrasound guided biopsy.
Usually a Prostate Biopsy is only performed if the first two steps indicate the presence of prostate disease.
- A staff member will explain the procedure and answer any questions that you may have.
- A ultrasound probe that is a little larger then a finger is inserted into the rectum. This may be a little uncomfortable but rarely painful.
- A fine needle is inserted through the ultrasound probe into your prostate and several samples of tissue are taken. Each biopsy is 1-2mm thick and an average of 6 samples are taken. When the samples are taken you may feel a very brief painful sensation in your rectum.
- Following the test there may be a little bleeding when passing urine or stool. This usually settles quickly, within a day, however may last up to three days.
- You are required to take an antibiotic to reduce the chance of infection. Very rarely this may not completely cover all infections. If you suffer from chills or fever 24-48 hours after the examination, contact a doctor as a matter of urgency.
- Your biopsies are sent to pathology for examination, the results of the test are then sent directly to your doctor.
- The test can take up to 45 minutes.