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Urology - Prostate Biopsy
What Happens During a Prostate Biopsy?
Initially an ultrasound probe, about the same size as a finger, is inserted into the rectum. This enables pictures of the prostate to be taken very accurately.
Sometimes cancers have a particular appearance on ultrasound scanning and using a special guide on the ultrasound probe, a biopsy or sample of the prostate tissue in the area of suspicion can be accurately taken. Remember it is only giving the Pathologist a piece of the prostate or ‘biopsy’ that enables a diagnosis to be made. A diagnosis of cancer or any other disease cannot be made simply by the appearances on the ultrasound scan.
If the ultrasound examination of the prostate does not reveal any suspicious areas, the ultrasound picture is used to guide a number of random biopsies of the prostate. Not unusually, prostate cancer may not result in any disturbance to the appearances of the prostate on ultrasound and this is the reason for doing the random biopsies. In all, about 8 –12 biopsies are generally taken.
A local anaesthetic injection is injected around the prostate. This is done with a tiny needle and usually patients don’t feel this. This enables the biopsies to be taken with minimal discomfort.
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