The truth about prostate biopsy….


Prostate biopsy is an outpatient procedure performed by a Urologist, which entails taking tissue from the prostate gland, with a special biopsy needle, for Histology [Analysis] to confirm presence or absence of prostate Cancer.

There are different methods of carrying out this procedure:

1. Tran-rectal [Through the rectum].

2. Trans-perineal [Through the skin between scrotum and anus].

3. Trans-urethral.

Commonest is trans-rectal, which is what is done in many hospitals.

Your doctor will talk to you and examine you, if one the reasons listed below is present; you will require a prostate biopsy.


1. On examination of the prostate [Digital Rectal Examination], any or all of the following is present.
* It is hard
* It has an irregular surface
* It has an irregular surface
* There is loss of median groove

2. If your Prostate Specific Antigen [PSA] is high above 4mg/ml.

3. If any or all of the above is present, you will be prepared for the procedure.


= Notify your doctor if you are on any medication or have any drug allergies

= A prescription for antibiotics will be given to you

The antibiotics should be started the night before and taken again the morning before the procedure.

= You will be booked for the procedure

= Laboratory request forms will be filled appropriately and given to you to the laboratory.

= The laboratory will give you a bottle containing formalin [a fluid to preserve the tissue taken at biopsy].

= You will bring the bottle containing the formalin along with laboratory request form and evidence of payment for the procedure [receipt] on the day of the biopsy.

= You are requested to take a light diet e.g. Pap, agidi, vegetable, the evening before and the morning of the procedure [no need to fast].

= You are encouraged to empty your bowel on the morning of the procedure.


a. Prostate biopsy needle [spring-loaded-18G]

b.2 pairs of surgical gloves

c. Xylocaine gel.

d. A roll of toilet paper

e. Your hospital card (appointment card)

Come with a relative on the day of the procedure, please do not drive yourself.

Also make sure you have paid for the procedure.


= Performed on outpatient basis

= Usually given an appointment for the procedure, or as indicated by your doctor [please come 30minutes before the scheduled time of the procedure.

= Done in prostate biopsy room

= You will remove your trouser and under wear

= You will be positioned lying on your left side with your knees bent.

= The needle is inserted through your anus, then through the wall of your rectum into your prostate gland to take some prostate tissues.

= At this point you will feel some discomfort and hear a snapping sound, from the biopsy needle.

= Severe sample will be taken from different parts of the gland [6-12 depending on the yield].

= sample is then put in the bottle you provided and sent to the laboratory by you for examination.

= The doctor will pack your anus with cotton gauze. [ Which should be removed after 30mins? – 1hr].

= You can go home after 30 mins to 1 hour of observation.


Like any surgical procedure complications can occur, they include but are not limited to:

a. Blood in your stool. [This is usually self limiting and should resolve within a few days

b. blood in your urine [This is also self limiting however if you have difficulty passing urine, pain in your lower abdomen, pain during urination or the bleeding is worsening, come to the accident and emergency department.
Blood in your semen {This is also self limiting]

c. Pain and discomfort at the biopsy site. [Take paracetamol for the pain]

d. Dizziness and fainting, please report at the accident and emergency immediately.

e .Fever, swollen of painful testis, painful urination, inability to pass urine

[Please report at the accident and emergency].


= A 2-week appointment is given to you to come to clinic for observation.
Prostate biopsy may occasionally be negative even though there is cancer present.

If there overwhelming clinical evidence of cancer, or the tissue taken is inadequate for reporting, the procedure may be repeated.


I have read through the prostate biopsy consent form and have understood the procedure and complications and agree that this prostate biopsy using spring-loaded biopsy needle should be carried out on me.

Patient’s name: —————————————————————————————-

Patient’s signature: ———————————————————————————
Date: ————————————–

Relative’s name: —————————————————————————————-
Relative’s signature: —————————————–

Date: —————————————————————
Witness name: ———————————————————————————————
Witness signature: ————————————————–
Date: —————————–


FAQs about prostate biopsy answered

How soon can I exercise after a prostate biopsy?

For me, I think it is better to wait for a week or more after prostate biopsy before you can commence exercising again… This is to make sure the inflammation of the prostate that occurs following biopsy has resolved and the bleeding associated with it is no more. The prostate needs time to heal.

Prostate biopsy recovery time

It takes about 72 hours to recover from prostate biopsy procedure….the truth is, patients we have biopsied told me that felt they fully recovered about 2 weeks after their prostate was biopsied…that was when the slight soreness, slight rectal and bleeding and slight bleeding in the urine fully subsided.

Does prostate biopsy damage the prostate?

The answer is no…prostate biopsy takes strands of prostate tissue from the suspicious prostate and this does not damage the prostate.

How long after a prostate biopsy can you get an infection?

Antibiotics is given prophylactically before and even after prostate biopsy to take care of any infection that may arise after the procedure….none of our patients have come down with infection after prostate biopsy.

Bowel prep for prostate biopsy

Some centres prepare the patient bowel before biopsy which makes sense since it is better done with an empty rectum….patients are usually told to empty their bowels before the procedure…

How long does pain from prostate biopsy last?

Most patients I have seen do prostate biopsy were given adequate analgesia and even placed on painkillers like paracetamol or even tramadol or diclofenac after the procedure so, the issue of pain never comes up….prostate biopsy is painless with good painkillers.

What can you not do after prostate biopsy

Avoid sexual activity for at least a week after prostate biopsy. You can eat anything after prostate biopsy but don’t smoke or take alcohol.

How long does it take for a prostate to heal after a biopsy?

Does a prostate heal after biopsy? The answer is yes. A prostate completely heals 2 weeks after biopsy…a prostate does not regenerate after biopsy….it heals by fibrosis.

How long to wait for sex after prostate biopsy?

Wait at least a week after prostate biopsy …having intercourse too early after prostate biopsy may make you see blood in your semen.

Can PROSTATE BIOPSY affect sex?

Not really…but the anxiety associated with it may cause temporary erectile dysfunction in some men…but not for long….in the real sex of it, prostate biopsy has nothing to do with erectile dysfunction…

This page will be update from time to time.


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