(Transrectal Biopsy; Transurethral Biopsy; Transperineal Biopsy)
by Michelle Badash, MS
A prostate biopsy is removal of a tissue from the prostate gland. The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland in men. The removed tissue is sent for testing.
Reasons for Procedure
A prostate biopsy is done if part of the prostate looks suspicious. It is often done after abnormal results from:
A prostate biopsy is the only way to find out if there are cancer cells.
Problems from the procedure may occur, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Things that may increase the risk of problems include:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
You may be asked to:
The type of anesthesia will be based on type of procedure. It may be one of the following:
Description of the Procedure
There are different types of surgery. The choice is made based on your health goals and where the growth is. Choices include:
How Long Will It Take?
About 30 minutes
Will It Hurt?
You may be sore at the site. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medicine.
Some activity will need to be avoided for 1 to 2 days.
The sample will be examined under a microscope. The doctor will follow up on the results.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Cancer Institute
Urology Care Foundation
Prostate Cancer Canada
Prostate biopsy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/evaluation/prostate-biopsy. Updated August 6, 2019. Accessed January 8, 2020.
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.
Tests for prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html. Updated May 15, 2017. Accessed January 8, 2020.
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):127-136.
Understanding prostate changes: A health guide for men. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/understanding-prostate-changes. Accessed January 8, 2020.
6/2/2011 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.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.
7/13/2016 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905693/Prostate-biopsy: Gershman B, Van Houten HK, Herrin J, et al. Impact of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening trials and revised PSA screening guidelines on rates of prostate biopsy and postbiopsy complications. Eur Urol. [Epub ahead of print] 2016 Mar 16.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated: 9/25/2020