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Prostate Biopsy

Trans-Rectal Ultrasound (TRUS) Guided Prostate Biopsy

A TRUS guided prostate biopsy will usually be recommended for the following reasons:

  • You have a higher than normal PSA level for your age,
  • Your consultant has detected an abnormal feeling prostate on rectal examination,
  • You have a significant risk of prostate cancer, taking in to account your age, PSA, prostate examination and any family history

Before undertaking a TRUS biopsy, we will talk to you at length about the advantages and disadvantages of undergoing the procedure, and the implications of a positive result. We may discuss also performing an MRI scan before your procedure (currently only available privately).

How is a Prostate Biopsy done?

The procedure involves passing a small ultrasound probe into the back passage to visualise the prostate. We will then administer some local anaesthetic to numb the prostate, making the biopsies less painful. Whilst this is taking effect, we take some measurements of the prostate gland.


We then take a number of biopsies using a tiny needle which are sent immediately to the pathology laboratory for analysis. The whole procedure should take no more than fifteen minutes, and you will be able to go home or return to work soon afterwards. 

Are there any side effects after Prostate Biopsy?

A TRUS guided biopsy is a safe procedure. However, as with all invasive procedures there are some possible side-effects:

  • You may see blood in your urine or motion for up to 2 weeks, and in your semen for up to 6 weeks,
  • About 1:100 men will suffer from a blood infection, which may require hospital admission and antibiotics. You will be given some antibiotics at the time of the procedure, and to take home, to reduce the risk of this.

The analysis of the prostate biopsies usually takes about 10 days, and we will therefore make you an appropriate follow-up appointment to discuss the result.

Are there other ways of taking prostate biopsies?

Yes. Recently we have introduced a newer approach to prostate biopsy which incorporates state-of-the-art prostate imaging techniques to improve the accuracy of the biopsy test. This technique is called Transperineal Template or Biopsy (otherwise known as prostate 'mapping').  Your consultant may recommend this procedure as part of an active surveillance programme for prostate cancer, or where conventional (TRUS) biopsies have not been able to provide sufficient reassurance.  Follow this link to our page on Prostate Template Biopsy.