(Transrectal Biopsy; Transurethral Biopsy; Transperineal Biopsy)
by Michelle Badash, MS
A prostate biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue from the prostate gland. The tissue is examined to determine whether there is cancer.
Reasons for Procedure
A prostate biopsy is usually done after an abnormal finding by:
A prostate biopsy is the only way to find out if cancer cells are present.
Possible Complications TOP
Complications are rare. But, no procedure is free of risk. If you are planning to have a prostate biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These complications may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
You may be asked to do the following:
The type of anesthesia depends on the method that your doctor uses:
Description of the Procedure
Your doctor will use one of the following methods to do the biopsy:
How Long Will It Take?
About 30 minutes
Will It Hurt?
You may have discomfort and soreness at the biopsy site.
When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
After the sample is taken, it will be sent to a pathologist. This doctor will analyze the sample for cancer. If cancer is present, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan.
Call Your Doctor TOP
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Urology Care Foundation
National Cancer Institute
Prostate Cancer Canada
Causes, Natural History & Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=103 . Updated January 2011. Accessed December 13, 2012.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.... . Updated September 4, 2012. Accessed December 13, 2012.
Rodriguez LV, Terris MK. Risks and complications of transrectal ultrasound guided prostate needle biopsy: a prospective study and review of the literature. J Urol . 1998;160(6-I):2115-2120.
Tiong HY, Liew LC, Samuel M, Consigliere D, Esuvaranathan K. A meta-analysis of local anesthesia for transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis . 2007;10(2):127-36. Epub 2007 Jan 9.
Understanding prostate changes: a health guide for men. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.cancer.... . Accessed December 13, 2012.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 11/26/2012