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Langhorne Physician Services

Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy of the Prostate

Q & A: Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy of the Prostate

Your prostate gland is located at the base of your urinary bladder. It is normally the size of a walnut and surrounds the tube (urethra) through which you pass your urine. It produces the liquid (semen) part of your ejaculate which is added to your sperm during sex.

Why is Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy of the Prostate done?

If you have an abnormal result on a digital rectal exam or an elevated PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test, your doctor may order an ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate.

The biopsy lets a urologist obtain small samples of prostate tissue which are sent to a laboratory. The tissue will be carefully examined under a microscope. This will show whether the prostate cells appear abnormal, if cancer is present, and to some extent, how aggressive it appears. This knowledge is essential in order for the doctor to decide on a course of action.

What happens during and shortly after Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy of the Prostate?

The biopsy is done by inserting an ultrasound probe into the rectum. A needle is then inserted through the probe to obtain the tissue. Ultrasound is used to enable accurate placement of the needle. A tiny bit of the gland tissue is withdrawn through the needle and sent to the laboratory for diagnosing. One or more biopsies from different parts of the gland may be taken in this way. You will remain awake during the biopsy.

What are the side effects of Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy of the Prostate?,/h2>

The ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy is usually well tolerated. Injecting local anesthetics into the area before biopsy may minimize any discomfort. Blood in the semen (hematospermia) and blood in the urine (hematuria) occur in most patients, but resolves within a few days for the urine and a few weeks for the semen. High fever is rare, occurring in only 1% - 2% of patients. Antibiotics are continued for at least 48 hours after the biopsy procedure.

You should contact your doctor if you experience an elevated temperature, severe pain, severe bleeding or the passage of blood clots, or other unexpected symptoms. 

1. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-what-is-prostate-cancer
2. http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/guide/ultrasound-biopsy
3. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=103&display=1