Prostate Biopsy

Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists

Located in Bellingham, WA - Serving the Pacific Northwest

When you’re experiencing prostate symptoms that might indicate cancer, your urologist may recommend a prostate biopsy. At Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists in Bellingham, Washington, the skilled team offers the most advanced specialized care for the male reproductive system, including prostate cancer screenings, prostate biopsy, and prostate treatments. If you’re looking for the highest quality prostate care, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

Prostate Biopsy

What is a prostate biopsy?

A prostate biopsy is a technique where your urologist takes tissue samples from your prostate for testing. Your prostate is a small gland surrounding your urethra underneath your bladder. This gland makes fluid to support your sperm.

There are different types of prostate biopsy procedures, including transrectal biopsy and transperineal biopsy. During a transrectal biopsy, your urologist passes the biopsy needle through the wall of your rectum to collect samples. In a transperineal biopsy, your urologist accesses your prostate by making a tiny incision in the space between your scrotum and anus.

Most prostate biopsies are transrectal.


Why do I need a prostate biopsy?

Your urologist might recommend a prostate biopsy for several reasons, including:

  • Elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels
  • Prostate abnormalities detected during a digital rectal exam
  • A history of abnormal, but not cancerous, prostate biopsy

You might need a prostate biopsy if you’ve had a past prostate biopsy that was normal, but you continue having elevated PSA levels.


How do I prepare for a prostate biopsy?

Before your prostate biopsy, your urologist works closely with you to ensure you avoid any medications that can increase your chances of bleeding, like blood thinners, certain herbal supplements, and over-the-counter drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Your urologist also recommends an enema to make sure your bowels are completely empty before your biopsy. They’ll also ask for a urine sample to check for signs of a urinary tract infection that can interfere with your prostate biopsy.


What can I expect during a prostate biopsy?

During your biopsy, you either lie on your stomach or on your side with your knees bent toward your chest. After cleansing the area, your urologist applies a gel and inserts a small, transrectal ultrasound into your rectum. This thin probe produces pictures of your prostate to guide your urologist through the procedure.

Your urologist starts by numbing the area to reduce your discomfort and then takes samples with a spring-loaded instrument. They take approximately 12 samples, and your entire procedure lasts about 10 minutes.

After your prostate biopsy, you should avoid strenuous activity for a day or two. It’s also common to experience tenderness in your rectum or light bleeding, have traces of blood or rust-tinged semen, or notice blood in your urine or stools.

Call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.