If you have a abnormality on digital rectal examination or an abnormally high PSA, then I will be talking to you about whether a prostate biopsy is in order. A prostate biopsy is a procedure during which time we remove tissue from the prostate gland through the rectum. In short, a small transrectal ultrasound probe is placed into the rectum. With this ultrasound probe we can take a look at the prostate, we can measure its size, and we can look for any abnormalities on the ultrasound. The probe also allows us to evaluate the organs behind the prostate, or the seminal vesicles, and the base of the bladder.
During the procedure, after a measurement is obtained, typically a total of 10 or 12 biopsies will be obtained from the patient. These biopsies are then sent to a pathologist who generally gives us a report three or four business days following the procedure.
The risks of a prostate biopsy include bleeding, infection, discomfort and difficulty urinating. Recently there has been a slight increase in the risk of infections associated with prostate biopsies. If you have recently been on steroid medications or have been taking antibiotics that might put you at higher risk for an infection following the biopsy, I would ask that you would bring that history to my attention.
In addition, to limit your risks of bleeding, we recommend that you stop all blood thinners and aspirin 7 days prior to the procedure.