Prostate Ultrasound and Biopsy
What is Prostate Ultrasound?
Further testing is indicated if a PSA blood test suggests possible cancer. Tissue samples (biopsies) are removed from the prostate for examination. Their removal is guided by ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the prostate gland. The tissue samples are then checked for cancer cells.
Preparing for Your Procedure
- Follow any instructions you are given.
- Tell the urology provider what medications you take, including any over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, supplements, or blood thinners. Ask whether you need to stop taking any of them before the test.
- Tell the urology provider if you have any bleeding problems.
- If prescribed, take antibiotics before your test, to help prevent any infection.
- Arrange for a driver to take you home after the procedure.
What to Expect During Your Procedure
The prostate ultrasound and biopsy are done in the medical office and usually take from 10 to 20 minutes, but expect your visit to last up to about an hour. You may be given an antibiotic, pain medication, and medication to help you relax before the procedure.
During the procedure:
1. A small ultrasound probe is inserted into your rectum. Sound waves from the probe create images of your prostate on a video monitor.
2. You will receive an injection of local anesthetic.
3. A small biopsy needle is inserted through the rectum into the prostate. Guided by the ultrasound images, the needle is used to take several tiny tissue samples from the prostate.
4. The needle and probe are removed. The tissue samples are sent to a lab for testing.
5. The urology provider will tell you when you can go home.
After Your Procedure
Take any prescribed antibiotics as directed.
- You may notice some rectal bleeding or blood in your urine for a few days. This is normal.
- You may have blood in your semen for several months after the test. This is normal.
- Ask your urology provider whether you should avoid exercise or sex for a few days after your biopsy.
Risks and possible complications include infection, excessive bleeding, and/or urinary retention. Call our office if you have:
- Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- Excessive bleeding from your rectum or urethra
- Muscle aches or excessive tiredness
- Trouble urinating
Understanding Your Biopsy Results
Your biopsy results will help determine your course of treatment, which can range from watchful waiting in the case of non-aggressive cancer, to more active treatment such as surgery, radiation, and/or hormone therapy.