Prostate biopsy is a common procedure required to be undertaken in a large number of older males having related problems. Being an invasive procedure, it creates a lot of anxiety, particularly in case of consequential complications, most of which are short-lived and need not be associated with any panic. Awareness about it can help a lot in dealing with it.
PROSTATIC BIOPSY is a simple procedure of extracting some cells from the prostrate gland, by the rectal route. These cells are then examined for the presence of cancer cells that would indicate the presence of Prostate cancer.
In the United States, for men over fifty, digital rectal exams (DREs) have become a routine part of the annual checkup, as have prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests. These tests can detect prostate cancer, a disease that kills roughly 30,000 Americans each year. But before a doctor can make the diagnosis, he needs to do another procedure: the prostate biopsy.
Prostate biopsy is a simple procedure. It takes about 15 minutes and doesn't require any anesthesia. As the patient lies on an exam table, the doctor will insert a slender ultrasound device into his rectum. The device emits sound waves to produce an image of your prostate. It is called TRANSURETERAL ULTRASOUND or TRUS. Guided by the ultrasound image, the doctor will slide a tiny needle through the rectal wall and into the prostate. Since prostate tumors tend to be very small and can be located anywhere on the prostate, the doctors prefer to take samples from several different areas of the gland. Most common approach is to take six samples.
Side Effects of Prostate Biopsy
1. PAIN - A prostate biopsy hurts, but not much. In most cases, anxiety regarding the biopsy causes more trouble than the pain from biopsy. If you're concerned about pain, ask your doctor to provide anesthesia, like LIDOCAINE GEL. Usually the anesthetic is required only if the biopsy is being collected from many sites.
2. BLEEDING - Many patients notice small amounts of blood in their urine, stools, or semen in the days after a biopsy. This is to be expected and is no cause for alarm. Fewer than 1 percent of all patients develop severe bleeding or an infection of the prostate or urinary tract.
3. INFECTION - It is a somewhat common complication and may require antibiotics to be used for prophylaxis or treatment.
4. FEVER - It is also common but may not last very long unless there is any persistent infection.
In one series of biopsies, 7,074 biopsies were performed in 5,153 men. Minor complications included hematuria >1 day (13.8%), hematospermia (35.8%), and rectal bleeding (2.1%). Major complications were prostatitis, epididymitis, fever >38C, rectal bleeding >2 days, and urinary retention.
Sometimes it may be preferable to provide an antibiotic cover for performing biopsy so that the chances of infection are eliminated.