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.
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.
Complications are rare. But, no procedure is free of risk. If you are planning to have a prostate biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These complications may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.
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:
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.
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Urology Care Foundation
National Cancer Institute
Prostate Cancer Canada
Causes, Natural History & Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=103. Updated January 2011. Accessed December 13, 2012.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-diagnosis. Updated September 4, 2012. Accessed December 13, 2012.
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. Epub 2007 Jan 9.
Understanding prostate changes: a health guide for men. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/search/results. Accessed December 13, 2012.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed September 2013 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.