prostate gland biopsy is a test to remove small
samples of prostate tissue to be examined under a microscope. See a picture of
the prostate gland .
For a prostate biopsy, a
thin needle is inserted through the
rectum (transrectal biopsy), through the
urethra, or through the area between the anus and
scrotum (perineum). A transrectal biopsy is the most common
method used. The tissue samples taken during the biopsy are examined for
A biopsy may be done when a
blood test shows a high level of
prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or after a
digital rectal examination finds an abnormal prostate
or a lump.
Why It Is Done
biopsy is done to determine:
- If a lump found in the prostate gland is
- The cause of a high level of prostate-specific antigen
(PSA) in the blood.
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor if you:
- Have had any bleeding problems.
- Are allergic to latex or any
medicines, including anesthetics.
- Take any medicines regularly. Be
sure your doctor knows the names and doses of all your
- Are taking any blood-thinning medicines, such as
warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, enoxaparin (Lovenox), aspirin, ibuprofen, or
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
You will need to sign a consent form that says you
understand the risks of a prostate biopsy and agree to have the biopsy done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the
biopsy, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help
you understand the importance of the biopsy, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
If a prostate biopsy is done under
local anesthesia through the area between the anus and
scrotum (perineum), no other special preparation is needed.
the biopsy is done through the rectum, you may need to have an
enema before the biopsy.
If the biopsy is
general anesthesia, your doctor will tell you how soon
before surgery to stop eating and drinking. Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking, or your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor has instructed you to take your medicines on the day of the surgery, please do so using only a sip of water.
During preparation for the biopsy, an
intravenous line (IV) is inserted in your arm, and a
sedative medicine is given about an hour before the
How It Is Done
This biopsy is done by a doctor who
specializes in men's genital and urinary problems (urologist) in
the doctor's office, a day surgery clinic, or a hospital operating room.
Before your prostate biopsy, you may be given
antibiotics to prevent infection. You may be asked to
take off all of your clothes and put on a hospital gown.