For many men, the thought of having a prostate exam can be worrisome. Just being told there is a concern can be worrisome. However, the procedure is not necessarily as difficult as most people believe. When a prostate biopsy becomes necessary, which means there is likely abnormal tissue present that needs to be examined more closely, your doctor will recommend a biopsy and a type. There are several ways in which tissue can be collected.
Methods of Obtaining a Prostate Biopsy
The following are the most common methods used to obtain a biopsy:
- The doctor may pass a needle through the wall of the rectum to access the prostate exam. This method is called a transrectal biopsy. This is the most common type of prostate biopsy performed.
- The doctor collects the tissue sample through the tip of the penis. This is called a transurethral biopsy. A camera is passed through the urethra in order to access the prostate and obtain the necessary sample.
- A third option is passing a needle through the skin located between the scrotum and anus. This method requires an incision to be made in this area and a doctor will insert the needle here to collect the necessary sample.
In many situations, these procedures are performed at the doctor’s office, but in some cases may be done in a surgical suite. The goal is to gather the necessary tissue from the area of concern. Your doctor will discuss the method to be used with you prior to the procedure and give you specific steps to take in preparation, if any. In some cases, ultrasound images are collected with the help of an inserted camera. This can also provide more information to the doctor.
In most cases, the process takes a short amount of time and provides a very accurate opportunity to diagnose any potential condition. In most situations, doctors will collect several tissue samples, each one taking about five to ten minutes to complete.
If you believe there is a need to have a prostate biopsy or you have been requested to obtain one by your doctor, do not put off getting it. It can provide very important and very accurate information to your doctor about your health and can help you to get any treatment that is necessary.