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.
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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.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
You may be asked to do the following:
The type of anesthesia depends on the method that your doctor uses:
Your doctor will use one of the following methods to do the biopsy:
About 30 minutes
You may have discomfort and soreness at the biopsy site. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
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.
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
National Cancer Institute
Urology Care Foundation
Prostate Cancer Canada
Causes, natural history and diagnosis of prostate cancer. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=103. Updated April 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-diagnosis. Updated September 12, 2014. Accessed September 15, 2014.
Prostate cancer biopsy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 11, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
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, et al. 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: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/screening/understanding-prostate-changes. Accessed September 25, 2014.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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