Trans-rectal needle biopsy of the prostate

Man in hospital

The test involves putting an ultrasound probe into your back passage to take pictures of your prostate. Then a needle is passed through the wall of your back passage to take usually up to 12 samples (cores) from the prostate gland. These samples will then be checked for prostate cancer cells. (Image courtesy of CRUK / Wikimedia commons)

prostate biopsy

Before the test

You will take antibiotics before the biopsy to reduce the risk of infection afterwards.

Will I have pain relief / anaesthetic?

You will have a local anaesthetic injection around the area of the prostate gland to help numb it.  

Does it hurt?

Yes it can be uncomfortable.  Some men describe it like the sting you get from being flicked with an elastic band.

How long does it take?

About 10-15 minutes.

After the test

Drink plenty of fluids in the twenty four hours afterwards.

You will probably have some blood in your pee and poo for a week or two afterwards and in your semen for longer. You will take antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Take them as instructed and always finish the whole course.

Are there side-effects / risks?

There’s a risk of infection after this biopsy. Go to your GP or A&E department if you have:

  • A high temperature.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Burning sensation when passing urine.
  • Difficulty passing urine.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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