This involves taking a number of small samples of prostate tissue using an ultrasound guidance probe placed in the rectum.

The samples are sent to a pathology laboratory where the specimen is later analysed. Results are usually available in 2 to 3 days. The report will be sent to your referring doctor who will then convey these results to you.

The pathology company may also charge a gap for these services. Please discuss this with us if you have any questions.


You will lie on the ultrasound bed on your side and a sonographer will place an ultrasound probe into the rectum. They may take some initial measurements and images. The radiologist will administer local anaesthetic and then take several biopsy samples using the ultrasound probe to guide the needle. The exact number of samples taken can vary due to a number of factors, but will be at least six. Whilst uncomfortable, it is not usually overly painful.

Risks / Side Effects

Infection may be introduced into the prostate as the needle passes through the bowel wall.

  • If treated early this should resolve easily. If left untreated it can lead to abscess formation and in rare cases may be fatal
  • To minimize the risk of infection you were given an antibiotic before the procedure and will be given a second antibiotic (Ciprofloxacin 500mg ) to take before going to bed the night of your biopsy.

Some bleeding is common and should settle down with time. This can be from the rectum, in the urine and mixed with sperm.

Before your Scan

It is advisable to cease taking any anti-coagulant medication (eg Warfarin) for 1 week prior to the procedure. Please confirm this is OK with your referring or local doctor first. If your doctor thinks it is not safe to stop your anticoagulation they will need to discuss the biopsy request with a radiologist.

You will be asked to arrive 1 hour prior to your procedure to take a dose of antibiotic (Ciprofloxacin 500mg). We will give you this antibiotic, although it may also be prescribed by your referring doctor.

Please note that the study cannot be performed unless the antibiotics are taken 1 hour before the biopsy time.

Other Information

Please take your second antibiotic (Ciprofloxacin 500mg ) before going to bed on the night of your biopsy.

You should avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours following the biopsy.

You may experience some discomfort following the procedure.

  • If required, a simple analgesic such as paracetamol (Panadol), NOT Aspirin, should be sufficient.

There will probably be some bleeding from the rectum which should decrease over a few days. You may also experience blood mixed with the urine and sperm which should decrease over a few weeks.

It is important to treat any complications early. Please contact your referring doctor if you:

  • notice continued or increased bleeding
  • feel unwell
  • experience abdominal pain
  • develop a fever

If you have not been contacted about your results in 1 to 2 weeks please contact your referrer.

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