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What is prostate biopsy?

What is prostate biopsy?

What is prostate biopsy?


The procedure of removing tissue samples from the prostate is known as prostate biopsy. A needle is used to take tissue samples from your prostate gland during a prostate biopsy. A doctor who specializes in the urinary system and male sex organs performs the procedure (urologist).


Why is it done?


A prostate biopsy helps diagnose or rule out a prostate cancer. Your doctor may suggest a prostate biopsy if:


  • A PSA test reveals values that are greater than expected for your age
  • During a digital rectal exam, your doctor may discover hard consistency of prostate or palpable nodule/s .
  • You've had a previous biopsy that came back normal, but your PSA levels are persistently rising on surveillance
  • A prior biopsy revealed atypical cells


Biopsy Procedure


Prostate biopsy samples can be taken by a variety of methods. The following procedures may be included in your prostate biopsy:


  • Transrectal biopsy
  • MRI/TRUS Fusion biopsy
  • Transperineal biopsy


Transrectal biopsy involves inserting a tiny needle through the rectum and into the prostate to remove a sample of tissue. The needle is guided by transrectal ultrasonography. A histopathologist inspect the sample microscopically using special stains to discover if it contains cancer.


MRI/TRUS Fusion Biopsy: TRUS stands for Transrectal Ultrasonography. It captures realtime image of the prostate gland with the help of ultrasound probe. Fusion guided prostate biopsy incorporates MRI and ultrasound for obtaining a targeted biopsy of the prostate. It is an option for patients with persistently elevated PSA values despite a previous negative biopsy and locations difficult to be accurately targeted in prostate such as an anteriorly placed lesions. It helps pick up clinically significant cancers.


Transperineal biopsy: Between the anus and the scrotum, a tiny cut is made in the skin (perineum). To get tissue samples, the biopsy needle is passed through the cut and into the prostate. This treatment is usually image guided.


What are the risks associated with prostate biopsy?


There are certain risks associated with prostate biopsy, including but not limited to:


  • Infection in the urinary tract
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urine in the blood
  • Blood in your semen


What happens after the procedure?


After your prostate biopsy, you are advised to undertake only mild activities for 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor may advise that you take an antibiotic for a few days.

You could also:


  • Feel some discomfort occasionally
  • For a few days, you have blood in your urine or stools.
  • A small amount of blood in your semen may cause crimson or rust-colored tint.


The prostate biopsy samples will be evaluated by a pathologist, a clinician who specializes in identifying cancer and other tissue abnormalities. The pathologist can determine whether the tissue removed is malignant and, if so, how aggressive the malignancy is. You are supposed to meet your Uro-Oncologist with the biopsy report with prior appointment to discuss the further course of action.

Medanta Medical Team
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