TRUS Prostate Biopsy (transrectal ultrasound)

TRUS prostate biopsy

A transrectal ultrasound prostate biopsy, known as a TRUS is used to take multiple prostate tissue samples via the rectum. A patient’s specific condition and prostate dimensions dictate where the tissue samples are taken. Your consultant will analyse and assess the extracted samples to confirm whether you have cancerous cells within your prostate.

The TRUS biopsy procedure typically takes fifteen minutes but you should plan to be in attendance for as long as 6 hours. The time spent during your consultation is often dictated by appointment times, individual circumstance and speed of recovery. A patient’s levels of personal comfort and safety are ensured and upheld throughout. The clinical team will always available to talk through any concerns you may have.

Patients who are suspected of having prostate cancer typically have a high PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) score, have a history of prostate cancer within their family or have received a concerning DREMRI scan or CT scan. TRUS biopsies are also used to identify any changes in the condition of a patient with a confirmed prostate cancer diagnosis.

TRUS Prostate Biopsy
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TRUS patient preparation

Unlike similar procedures, patients are encouraged to eat and drink ahead of their TRUS biopsy. A patient’s daily medication regime may be affected however, those taking antibiotics, anticoagulants, antiplatelets or immunosuppressants will be advised to reduce their usual dosage or stop taking specific medicines ahead of the procedure.

TRUS patient requirements

Patients will be provided with a gown and slippers and will need to provide a urine sample two hours ahead of their appointment time. The urine sample is used to confirm the absence of a urine infection that may jeopardise the planned procedure. As further protection from infection, patients may be given antibiotics and may be asked to wash with an anti-microbial shower Gel such as HibiScrub® the night before. You must provide the clinical team with any information about allergies you may have and give them details your medication regime.

Biopsy procedure

The TRUS procedure is generally uncomfortable but mostly painless. Following the initial Digital Rectal Examination of the prostate and enima to expel any ‘poo’ the rectum is lubricated. Patients will have an ultrasound probe inserted through their anus and the prostate region is viewed on screen to guide where the tissue samples are to be taken. Local anaesthetic is then injected into the rectal wall area surrounding the prostate.

Once anaesthetised, the prostate biopsy is performed using a spring-loaded needle.  The instrument is used to extract tiny amounts of prostate tissue. As these tissue samples are taken, patients can sometimes experience a mildly uncomfortable or unusual feeling within the area. Patients should not hesitate to inform their doctor of any intense discomfort or pain.

Risks and side effects

Patients undergoing a TRUS prostate biopsy may feel a little woozy afterwards and should take time and care while dressing and recovering. You should tell the healthcare team about any dizziness or sickness experienced after exiting the room. Patients commonly experience temporary nausea sensations and being transported home by friends or family is good idea and advised.

Possible side effects of the TRUS prostate biopsy procedure are usually temporary and can include, an inability to urinate, blood being found in your faeces or semen, erectile dysfunction, prostate soreness, septicaemia and urine infections. Although some side effects are typical, others are less likely to be experienced.

Alternative procedure

Similar to the TRUS procedure, the Transperineal ultrasound prostate biopsy serves to extract the same prostate tissue samples. This procedure involves samples being taken via the perineum located between the rectum and scrotum instead of being extracted via the rectum. Local anaesthetic is used to perform this procedure and a professional consultation will often decide if this biopsy is more appropriate.

Aftercare and patient self-management

TRUS prostate biopsy patients should use the complete course of antibiotics provided and use over-the-counter painkillers to treat soreness. Patients should avoid alcohol and any strenuous activity for a couple of days and drink plenty of fluid. Patients should report developing chills or high temperature, the inability to urinate or any suspicion of having a urine infection such as a mild burning whilst urinating. Homosexual men should also ask for further advice from their doctor.

Getting results

Patients typically receive the results of their TRUS prostate biopsy within three weeks; the results will be shared and discussed during a pre-booked appointment and will be confirmed by mail or telephone. While awaiting results clinicians can usually answer any queries that patients might have.

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  1. Dave Rodgers

    The Biopsy was very painful, didn’t appreciate a female nurse looking at me and the doctor did NOT explain that this procedure would be this painful. But what does the doctor know, he has never had a biopsy. Will never do this again. Would rather die from cancer than have a doctor lie to me.

  2. Doodah Dippity

    Oh the drama! Really? You’d rather DIE over this? I mean, I hear you about the omission of pain details, but it seems you are being way oversensitive. Maybe because you’ve been suffering? I don’t know, but maybe you should have done some research yourself. I hope your results were benign.

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