Prostate Biopsy

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Prostate Cancer Testing in Greater Atlanta

A prostate biopsy is a medical procedure used to gather small tissue samples from the prostate gland in order to examine them for signs of disease, such as prostate cancer. Here’s a simplified explanation of the procedure.

The Procedure

  • Preparation: Before the biopsy, you will likely be asked to stop taking any blood-thinning medications. You will need to purchase a Fleet, or similar saline enema from the drugstore or Amazon and use it the morning before your procedure.  You may also need to take antibiotics to prevent infections.
  • Anesthesia: To minimize discomfort, you will be given anesthesia. There are two common types: local anesthesia and sedation/nitrous anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs the area around the prostate, while sedation/nitrous anesthesia makes you less aware throughout the procedure.
  • Positioning: You will be positioned in a way that allows Dr. Bhalani or his associates to access your prostate. This could involve lying on your side with your knees bent or lying face down with a cushion under your hips.
  • Guided needle insertion: Dr. Bhalani or his associates will use an ultrasound machine to visualize the prostate gland. The ultrasound probe is gently inserted into the rectum to create an image of the prostate on a screen. This helps Dr. Bhalani or his associates to guide the biopsy needle accurately.
  • Biopsy needle insertion: Once the prostate is visualized, the doctor will insert a thin, hollow needle through the wall of the rectum and into the prostate gland. Multiple tissue samples, usually around 12-18, are taken from different areas of the prostate.
  • Sample collection: Each time the needle is inserted, a spring-loaded device or a vacuum system is used to quickly retrieve a small core of tissue from the prostate. This process may cause a brief sensation of pressure or discomfort.
  • Completion: Once enough tissue samples have been collected, the biopsy needle is removed, and the procedure is complete. The tissue samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Side Effects

After the biopsy, you may experience some temporary side effects like blood in the urine or semen, discomfort or soreness in the prostate area, and mild bleeding from the rectum. Your doctor will provide instructions on how to manage these symptoms and will discuss the results of the biopsy with you in a follow-up appointment.

It’s important to remember that this is a general explanation, and the actual procedure may vary based on the specific techniques and equipment used by your healthcare provider. Always consult with a medical professional for personalized information and advice regarding any medical procedures. Call our office to schedule a consultation at (678) 321-7227.

FAQs

A prostate biopsy is a procedure to collect tissue samples from the prostate gland. It’s done to check for the presence of cancer, particularly in cases where other tests like PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) or digital rectal exams suggest a potential issue.

Prostate biopsies are typically done using transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guidance. A thin, flexible needle is inserted through the rectum to collect small tissue samples from various areas of the prostate.

The procedure can be uncomfortable, but local anesthesia is usually used to numb the area, which helps minimize pain during the biopsy. Some men may experience mild discomfort and pressure.

Common risks include minor bleeding, infection, and discomfort after the procedure. In rare cases, more serious complications can occur. It’s important to discuss potential risks with your doctor.

A typical prostate biopsy takes about 10-15 minutes.

You may experience some bleeding from the rectum or in your urine for a few days after the procedure. You might also notice blood in your semen. This is usually temporary. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s post-procedure instructions.

It may take several days to a week to receive your biopsy results. Your doctor will discuss the findings with you and determine the appropriate course of action.

If cancer is detected, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. This can include active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, or other treatments, depending on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer.

You might be advised to avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, for a short period after the biopsy. Your doctor will provide specific instructions based on your condition.

Some alternative tests, like MRI-guided biopsies or the 4Kscore test, are available to assess the risk of prostate cancer. Discuss these options with your doctor to determine the most appropriate diagnostic approach for your situation.

It’s important to have a detailed discussion with your healthcare provider to address your specific concerns and questions regarding the prostate biopsy procedure. They can provide personalized information and guidance based on your medical history and needs.

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