What to Expect During a Prostate Biopsy

Prostate cancer biopsy is a medical procedure to diagnose the prostate cancer. It is not possible to correctly diagnose prostate cancer by physical and laboratory examinations. Prostate cancer biopsy is the only test that confirms the prostate cancer, and the word "biopsy" often instills fear in prospective patients. While it is true that you have to be hospitalized before the actual procedure, a prostate biopsy does not involve the surgical procedure many fear.

A patient will enter the hospital the day before a biopsy takes place, during which he is given an antibacterial dose and anemia.

On the day of the biopsy, hospital staff will prepare you for the procedure and take you to the operating theater. Your doctor will ask you to lie down on one side of your body, so as to allow the ultra sound equipment used during the biopsy to get the job done. The doctor will also instruct you to pull up your knees, which will allow for hindrance-free access to the rectum. That said, you will be expected to maintain this position for 20-30 minutes, so don't pull up your knees too tightly.

After the physical examination of your rectum, the doctor will decide the place where he will insert the needle. Before insertion, however, they will apply local anesthesia, so that you do not feel pain.

Once the area is numb, the doctor will insert the needle and an ultrasound probe. This probe is connected to the ultrasound machine, which creates images of by analyzing the ultrasound waves. Once the probe is inside, the doctor can guide the probe to enter the prostate gland.

When the probe has entered the gland, the doctor will be able to insert the device with which he will perform the actual biopsy. This device will allow the doctor to scrape the tissue of the prostate wall, samples that will be used to test for cancer. Over the course of the procedure, the doctor will take about 10-15 samples from different spots within the prostate gland.  

Despite the anesthesia, you may feel some minor pain and discomfort over the course of the procedure. This is normal, unpleasant as it might be. If you start to experience unbearable pain, however, you should immediately advise your doctor.

Once the doctor has gathered enough samples, the probe and needle will be removed from your body. Very light dressing is applied to the affected area so as to prevent infection and your part of the biopsy has come to a close. You will be released from the hospital that day; the samples are then sent to be tested and analyzed.

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