The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped male organ which produces fluid to nourish and transport sperm. If you have recently had a digital rectal exam or an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, and the results were abnormal, a urologist from Ogden Clinic in Utah will want to perform a prostate ultrasound and biopsy to diagnose and treat any abnormal conditions of the prostate, including cancer.
There are two types of prostate biopsy. The transrectal biopsy is the more common procedure, in which the provider will take samples with a needle passed through the wall of the rectum. The other procedure, known as transperineal biopsy, involves inserting the needle through the area of skin between the anus and scrotum, or perineum.
To start, you will be asked to lie on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest or to lie on your stomach. The doctor will then clean the area to be examined and apply a gel.
For a transrectal biopsy your doctor will begin by completing the prostate ultrasound, or transrectal ultrasonography, by inserting a probe about the size of a finger, a short distance into the rectum. This probe emits harmless high-frequency sound waves, which are transformed into images of the prostate gland. The doctor uses these images to determine which areas of the prostate should be numbed to reduce discomfort during the procedure. Once the doctor applies an anesthetic, he/she will use the ultrasound images to guide the biopsy needle into the prostate to remove small tissue samples for testing.
Depending on the images of your prostate, the doctor may take several samples from different places in the prostate that look suspicious. In total, 10-12 tissue samples are generally taken. The procedure typically lasts about 10 minutes. The samples will then be analyzed to determine if any disease or cancer is present.
Following the procedure, you will need to avoid strenuous activities for a couple days and take an antibiotic. You may experience some soreness, have light bleeding from your rectum, or see traces of blood in your urine, stool, and sperm. If these symptoms do not subside, it is important to let your doctor know immediately.
If you have recently had an abnormal prostate exam, schedule an appointment for a prostate ultrasound and biopsy at one of Ogden Clinic’s Utah offices.