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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:

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need to start taking antibiotic medicine 1 day before your procedure. This medicine can help prevent an infection caused by bacteria. You may also need to take antibiotic medicine after your procedure.
  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.

The night before your procedure:

Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • You may be given an enema (liquid medicine put in your rectum) to help empty your bowel.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.


What will happen:

  • You may be given anesthesia to help keep you comfortable during the procedure. Anesthesia medicines may include numbing gel put into your rectum or shots of numbing medicine given near your prostate. You may have spinal anesthesia to numb the area below your waist. You may also get general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure.
  • A transrectal ultrasound may be used to guide the procedure. A small tube will be put into your rectum to show pictures of your prostate on a monitor. A biopsy needle will be put in through your rectum into your prostate gland. A small sample of tissue will be 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 will be used to take each tissue sample. Each sample will be 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.


  • You are late or cannot make it to your procedure.
  • You have a fever.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You urinate very little or not at all.
  • You have new or increased pain in your lower abdomen or rectum.


  • 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.

Care Agreement

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

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.