A prostate biopsy is where a doctor removes cells or very small pieces of tissue from the prostate in order to examine them.
The procedure is done when the doctor wishes to check whether there are any cancerous cells in the prostate tissue.
The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is analysed, and the doctor will inform you later of the results.
Before the procedure, you will be given an antibiotic tablet to take. You will likely also be given a tablet to take at home a few hours after the procedure. It is very important that you take these tablets to prevent infection.
If you are allergic to any kind of antibiotic, it is important that you say so before the procedure.
If you are diabetic, have congenital heart disease or any kind of heart valve problem, it is important that you explain your condition to the surgery in good time before the procedure. This also applies if you are being treated with blood-thinning medicine or cortisone tablets.
You will go to the toilet just before the procedure to empty the bowl and bladder.
How is the procedure performed?
When you are to have the procedure done, you will lie on a bed on your left side. The doctor starts by inserting a finger into your rectum to feel the prostate. The ultrasound probe is then carefully inserted a few centimetres into the rectum. It does not hurt, but it may feel a little uncomfortable.
The ultrasound probe has a special duct, through which a needle is inserted to take samples from the prostate. Most men feel only negligible pain or nothing at all. If you feel that it hurts, you can be given a local anaesthetic.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes.
How will you feel afterwards?
It is normal to have some blood in the seminal fluid, urine or stools afterwards; it is not a sign of anything dangerous.