A prostate biopsy involves removing small pieces of prostate tissue during a transrectal ultrasound.
Prostate cells produce a protein called PSA (prostate-specific antigen). Your doctor may order a prostate biopsy if they find abnormalities during a digital rectal exam or if your PSA level is high.
What happens during a prostate biopsy?
Before the procedure, a rectal enema and antibiotic treatment are given to reduce the risk of infection. The prostate biopsy is performed by a urologist under local anesthesia to limit any discomfort associated with the procedure. During the procedure, the doctor conducts a transrectal ultrasound to accurately view the location of the sample. A self-triggering needle is attached to the ultrasound probe and inserted through the anus. The needle then passes through the rectum and into the prostate. Six to 12 samples of prostate tissue are collected. The procedure itself takes about 10 minutes, but you should plan for a 25-to-30-minute appointment.
Collected tissue will be analyzed under a microscope by a pathologist to detect the presence of cancerous cells. It takes about 4 weeks to send the results to your doctor.