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Prostate Biopsy

Cancer occurs when abnormal cells form a tumor (a lump of cells that grow uncontrolled). If the results of your exam and tests lead your doctor to suspect prostate cancer, a core needle biopsy will be done. A thin needle is used to remove small samples of prostate tissue. These samples are checked for cancer.

Image of patient undergoing procedureCutaway view of prostate

Taking Tissue Samples

A biopsy takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Before it starts, you may be given an enema or suppository to clear the bowels. Antibiotics are given at least one hour pior to the biopsy. During the procedure:

  • You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection.

  • You may be given a sedative, local anesthetic, or pain medication.

  • A small probe is inserted into the rectum as you lie on your side. An image of your prostate can then be seen on a video monitor. This is called a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS).

  • With the TRUS image as a guide, your doctor uses a thin needle to remove tiny tissue samples from several sites in the prostate.

Risks and Complications of Core Needle Biopsy

  • Infection

  • Blood in urine, stool, or semen

 

Online Medical Reviewer: Parsons, J Kellogg, MD, MHS
Online Medical Reviewer: Reese, Jeffrey H, MD
Last Review Date: 10/27/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.