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Prostate Biopsy

How It Is Done continued...

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 camera.gif 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.

Your skin at the biopsy site is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and the area around it is covered with sterile cloth. Your doctor will wear sterile gloves. It is very important that you do not touch this sterile area.

Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is generally used to guide the needle to the correct biopsy location.

A small cut (incision) is made in your perineum. Your doctor inserts a finger into the rectum to hold the prostate gland and then inserts the needle through the incision and into the prostate gland. To collect a sample of tissue, the needle is gently turned and then pulled out. Biopsy samples may be taken from several areas of the prostate. Pressure is applied to stop the bleeding, and a small bandage is placed over the cut. The biopsy usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

How It Feels

You may feel a slight sting when you receive an injection of medicine to numb your skin. You may feel a dull pressure as the biopsy needle is inserted. For a transrectal biopsy, you may feel pressure in the rectum while the ultrasound probe or guiding finger is in place. You also may feel a brief, sharp pain as the biopsy needle is inserted into the prostate gland. Usually several biopsy samples are collected.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 28, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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