Discharge advice for patients
undergoing Trans-Rectal Biopsy of Prostate
You have had or are going to have a trans-rectal
biopsy of your prostate. This involves taking between five
and eight tiny thread-like biopsies with the aid of an extremely
fine, disposable biopsy needle. No anaesthesia is necessary.
Biopsies are taken with the aid of an ultrasound scanner,
via the rectum. The Consultant Radiologist performing the
procedure is able to see the prostate on the screen on the
ultrasound machine, whilst he is taking the biopsy.
If you are taking warfarin, other anticoagulants or long term aspirin
you should contact the
x-ray department prior to the procedure as these drugs will have to be
stopped for a few days prior to the biopsy. The Consultant will advise
you about this. Patients taking warfarin may need a blood test (to look
at the blood clotting profile) 48-72 hours before the biopsy so that
the result will be available before the biopsy. This blood test may be
carried out at in the Outpatient Department at Springfield Hospital.
This procedure is performed to establish whether
or not the prostate gland contains any cancerous cells. Your
Consultant or GP may
have referred you to the x-ray department for one of the following reasons:
1. Your PSA blood
result was higher than expected. PSA is a naturally occurring
antigen contained in the blood of males which sometimes is
raised if a cancer is present in the prostate. It may be
raised for other reasons which are nothing to do with a cancer
2. You may have
already undergone an ultrasound of the prostate which showed
some abnormal enlargement.
3. During digital
examination, your Consultant or GP may have felt that your
prostate was enlarged and required further investigation.
Following the biopsy, you may notice some small
streaks of blood in your bowel movements. This is quite normal
and nothing to worry about. If however
the bleeding becomes excessive, or you are at all worried,
please contact either your GP or the Springfield Hospital
immediately as very occasionally you may need some treatment
to stop this bleeding. You may notice that your urine
becomes bloodstained. You may pass small blood clots occasionally
in your urine. You may also notice that your semen becomes
bloodstained or pink. Again, this is nothing to worry about,
and should settle down on its own accord over the next 6-8
One of the problems of taking a biopsy through
the rectum is the risk of infection. The Consultant Radiologist
will have ensured that you were given either an intravenous
antibiotic injection prior to the procedure or some oral
antibiotics prior to and following the procedure.
At times, both of these methods may be used
It is important that if you have been given
some antibiotics to take following the procedure, that you
complete the course. These preventative methods should stop
any infection occurring, If, however, within a day of having
this biopsy you experience a rise in your body temperature,
shivering, severe headache or flu-like
symptoms, again please contact your GP or the Springfield Hospital immediately.
The tiny biopsies that have been taken will
be sent to the laboratory to be looked at under a microscope
by a Pathologist. The results of this biopsy will take approximately
four to seven days to be returned to Consultant or GP. It
is therefore important to arrange a follow up appointment
for approximately 7-10 days time. You will be advised regarding
this at the time of the procedure.
You may continue with your normal daily activities
including driving, sports etc. immediately or once you feel
well enough to do so. You may experience some pain or discomfort
in the perineal area (the area between the scrotum and back
passage). A mild analgesic that you would normally take for
pain should be sufficient to ease this.
If you have any concerns please contact Springfield
Hospital on 01245 234080 and ask to speak to the Senior
Nurse on duty and she will be happy to help you.