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Prostate Gland Needle Biopsy


A prostate gland needle biopsy is a procedure to remove samples of tissue from your prostate gland. The prostate is a gland in men located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body). After the samples are removed, they are sent to a lab and tested for cancer.

Male Reproductive System


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Medicines:
    • Enema: You may be given an enema (liquid medicine put in your rectum) to help empty your bowels.
    • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
    • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Anesthesia:
    • Local anesthesia: You may receive a numbing gel put into your rectum or shots of numbing medicine given near your prostate. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure after you get this medicine.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Spinal anesthesia: Spinal anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into your back to numb you below the waist. Feeling below the waist will return in about 2 hours.

During your procedure:

A transrectal ultrasound may be used to guide the procedure. A small tube will be inserted into your rectum to show pictures of your prostate on a screen. A biopsy needle is put in through your rectum into your prostate gland. A small sample of tissue is removed with the needle. Your healthcare provider may take between 6 to 12 samples of tissue from different areas of your prostate gland. A new needle is used to take each tissue sample. Each sample is sent to a lab and tested for cancer.

After your procedure:

You will be able to rest until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Once healthcare providers see that you are not having any problems, you may be able to go home.


  • During your procedure, your blood pressure may drop and make you feel dizzy. You may feel pain during or after your procedure. Your bladder, prostate, urethra, and nearby tissues or organs may be damaged during the procedure. After your procedure, you may have bruises and bleeding from your rectum. You may have blood in your urine, bowel movements, or semen. You may get an infection in your urinary tract or prostate gland. The infection may spread to your blood and the rest of your body.
  • If you have prostate cancer, the biopsy may not show the cancer. The biopsy may show cancer when there is no cancer in your prostate gland. You may need another prostate biopsy.
  • If you do not have a prostate gland biopsy, you may not learn the cause of your prostate problem. You may not get proper treatment. A prostate gland infection may cause pain and problems when you urinate. An enlarged prostate gland may block your urine flow. If you have prostate cancer, it may spread to other areas of your body and become life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

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