Biopsy of the Prostate and Transrectal Ultrasound

What is the test?

Your doctor is likely to recommend this test if you've had a rectal exam or blood tests that suggest that you might have prostate cancer. For this test, a urologist takes tissue samples from several places in your prostate, to be examined for cancer. A transrectal ultrasound helps the urologist see the prostate during the procedure.

How do I prepare for the test?

Some doctors recommend that you have an enema before the test. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to antibiotics.

What happens when the test is performed?

In most cases, you lie on your side with your knees bent up to your chest. An ultrasound machine's sensor — a short rod about the width around of two fingers — is covered with a condom and clear jelly and gently inserted into your rectum. You may feel some pressure similar to the sensation before a bowel movement. Once the sensor is in place, an image of your prostate appears on a video screen.

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