Recent Blog Articles
Drug recalls are common
Easy ways to shop for healthful, cost-conscious foods
Prostate cancer in transgender women
Why eat lower on the seafood chain?
Can long COVID affect the gut?
When replenishing fluids, does milk beat water?
Safe, joyful movement for people of all weights
Slowing down racing thoughts
Are women turning to cannabis for menopause symptom relief?
3 ways to create community and counter loneliness
Prostate biopsy side effects are common
Complications from prostate biopsies are common but usually not severe, a study in Urology reveals. Participants in the study had biopsies to look for cancer after an abnormal rectal exam or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. In a biopsy, a fine needle punches quickly through the rectal wall to remove a tiny sample of prostate tissue for examination under a microscope. Doctors took 12, 18, or 24 samples per participant. Typical problems from biopsy include pain, soreness, and infections. A more serious complication, which may lead to hospital admission, is acute urinary retention, in which a man is temporarily unable to drain his bladder.
Here is what the study found:
40% of the men experienced a complication.
The complication rate was as high as 57% in men with 24-sample biopsies.
Only 1.2% of the men required hospital admission.
9.1% ended up visiting an emergency room.
6.7% developed acute urinary retention.
Prostate needle biopsy is the only way to diagnose prostate cancer, regardless of PSA test results. The complication rate would vary with the general health of the men involved.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!