Prostate biopsy is a diagnostic invasive examination during which small samples of prostate tissue are removed through a needle.
In order to perform a prostate biopsy, a special machine is used which, through ultrasound, guides the needle to the appropriate place in the prostate.
A prostate biopsy is performed when:
- A hard area is located during digital rectal examination
- Blood tests reveal a raised level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), in order to investigate whether the increase is due to cancer or another cause such as prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
How the biopsy is performed
The prostate biopsy is carried out by a urologist.
The patient lies on a special bed and an ultrasound probe, which serves to guide the needle during the biopsy, is inserted into the rectum.
Depending on the size of the prostate gland, usually 6 to 24 tissue samples are taken from different areas.
The whole procedure takes from 15 to 30 minutes.
Preparing for the transrectal prostate biopsy
On admission to hospital you should inform your doctor about:
- Any bleeding problems in a previous surgical procedure
- Allergies to any medications
- Any medication you are taking which affects blood clotting (e.g. Salospir, Plavix, Iscover, Sintrom, Pradaxa)
Since the prostate biopsy is performed through the intestine it is required that on the day before the biopsy:
- An enema is carried out in the afternoon
- No food is taken in the evening (apart from a little yoghurt or soup)
- An oral 10-day antibiotic course is commenced
Following the transrectal prostate biopsy, the patient will need to remain in the clinic for a short time so that urination can be monitored, and he should also avoid strenuous physical activity for the remainder of the day.