How It Is Done
This biopsy is done by a doctor who specializes in men's genital and urinary problems (urologist) in the doctor's office, a day surgery clinic, or a hospital operating room.
Before your prostate biopsy, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection. You may be asked to take off all of your clothes and put on a hospital gown.
Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is commonly used to guide the placement of the needle during a prostate biopsy.
Through the rectum (transrectal biopsy)
Several positions are possible for this method. You may be asked to kneel, lie on your side, or lie on your back with your feet resting in stirrups. Your doctor may inject a local anesthetic around the prostate gland before the biopsy is taken.
Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is generally used to guide the needle to the correct biopsy location. A prostate biopsy is usually done with a spring-loaded needle. The needle quickly enters the prostate gland and removes a tissue sample. Between 6 and 12 samples are taken from different areas of the prostate.
The biopsy can also be done with a needle guide attached to your doctor's finger. He or she inserts the finger into the rectum. Then the needle is slid along the guide, through the wall of the rectum, and into the prostate gland. The needle is turned to collect a tissue sample and then pulled out.
A transrectal biopsy takes about 30 minutes.
Through the urethra (transurethral biopsy)
For this method, you will lie on your back with your feet resting in stirrups. General, spinal, or local anesthesia may be used.
A lighted scope (cystoscope) is inserted into your urethra. It allows your doctor to look directly at the prostate gland. A cutting loop is passed through the cystoscope to remove small pieces of prostate tissue.
A transurethral biopsy usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
Through the perineum (transperineal biopsy)
Transperineal biopsy is not done as commonly as transrectal or transurethral biopsy. You will lie on an examining table either on your side or on your back with your knees bent. General or local anesthesia may be used.