A prostate biopsy is a procedure to obtain samples of tissue from the prostate gland. This can be performed through the rectum (transrectal) or through the skin between the scrotum and anus (transperineal). Transperineal biopsies are cleaner and have a much reduced risk of serious infections compared to transrectal biopsies.
A general anaesthetics is administered for this procedure. A fine needle is used to collect a number of tissue samples from the prostate gland under guidance of a small ultrasound probe placed into the rectum which provides live picture of the prostate gland.
Generally about twenty biopsies are taken randomly from representative regions of the prostate gland. More or less biopsies may be taken depending on the size of the prostate gland. If abnormalities of the prostate gland areseen on ultrasound, then these will also be biopsied.
MRI detected lesions can be superimposed on to the live ultrasound picture using MRI/US fusion technology to allow a targeted biopsies of the MRI abnormality.
A prostate biopsy is used to detect prostate cancer. Indications include:
Common risks associated with transperineal prostate biopsies include: