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Prostate Biopsy

A prostate biopsy, also known as a needle biopsy, is a minor procedure in which a needle is inserted into the prostate for diagnostic examination. The prostate is a gland located in the male urinary tract that provides nutrients for sperm. As you get older, the prostate gradually increases in size.

The enlargement of the prostate may cause no symptoms or it may interfere unintentionally with urination. Symptoms such as increased frequency of urination, decreased force of urinary stream, difficulty urinating, or awakening at night to urinate may be signs of benign prostatic enlargement or a prostatic nodule.

Benign enlargement is a normal increase in the size of the prostate and does not require a biopsy. A nodule is a firm or hard area within the prostate. Dr. Huffer and his team will perform an examination to determine if a biopsy is necessary. You may also require a prostate biopsy if the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in your blood are too high.

How To Prepare

A prostate needle biopsy is a minor procedure which takes only 15-20 minutes to perform and is generally done in our office. However, some preparation is needed to ensure the biopsy goes smoothly and safely:

  • To ensure that bleeding risks are minimized, do not take any aspirin products for 7 days prior to the procedure.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or Naprosyn and Vitamin E should be stopped 3 days before the biopsy.
  • A Fleets enema should be administered about two hours before the visit. You can buy the enema at any drug store and follow the instructions on the package.
  • Antibiotics must start the day before the biopsy, with an additional pill taken the morning of the biopsy. The best antibiotic levels are obtained if the second pill is taken approximately 2 hours before the biopsy.

Prior to the procedure, you will be asked to sign a consent form that declares that you understand the procedure and risks involved.

What to Expect

On the day of your procedure, the experienced and professional team at Alaskan Interior Urology urges patients not to urinate completely within 15 minutes of the biopsy. There will be no dietary restrictions on the day of the procedure. Here is a breakdown of the things that will occur on the day of your biopsy procedure:


After arriving at the office, we will ensure that you have complied with the pre-biopsy instruction and have signed the consent form. If you fail to meet the pre-biopsy requirements, we will reschedule the procedure.


You may want to use the restroom to partially empty your bladder. Do not completely empty the bladder as a small amount of urine helps to distinguish the prostate from the bladder.

Changing Room

You will be escorted into a changing room and given a paper gown to wear. You will need to undress completely except for your socks and undershirt.

Biopsy Room

To perform the biopsy, you will be asked to lie down on your side on the exam table. When the ultrasound begins we will have you bend both knees towards your chest and hold them there until the exam is complete.

Digital Rectal Examination

In most cases, we will begin by performing a digital (finger) rectal exam of the prostate to ensure the rectum is not full of stool and to reexamine the prostate gland for nodules or irregularities.

Ultrasound Probe

The ultrasound probe is lubricated and gently inserted through the anus into the rectum until it rests just behind your prostate. Using ultrasound waves we will see the inside of your prostate on a television monitor. We will scan the entire prostate and take measurements of the prostate size. After around 4-5 minutes, the measurements are completed and we are ready to begin the prostate biopsy.


After aiming the ultrasound probe at a certain area of the prostate, the biopsy needle will be inserted through the ultrasound probe and placed through the rectal wall to reach your prostate. You may feel a pinch or some pressure as the needle is inserted into the prostate. An automated spring-loaded needle quickly and painlessly removes a small prostate tissue sample.

After the Biopsy

For 24 hours after the procedure, it is common to experience mild rectal discomfort. You may experience a small amount of bleeding in the urine, rectum, or in the ejaculate for 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure. Brownish ejaculate may occur for 1 to 2 months.

To facilitate a speedy recovery, please adhere to the following instructions post-procedure:

  • Take antibiotic 1 day after the procedure as directed by your physician.
  • No heavy lifting for 24 hours.
  • Do not resume aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for up to 3 days following the procedure.
  • You must consult with Dr. Huffer, as well as your primary care physician, cardiologist, or MIU physician for instructions on resuming your blood thinning medication.
  • Drink extra fluids for the next 24 hours.

Possible Complications

Contact Alaskan Interior Urology if you experience any of the following complications:

  • Temperature above 100.5°F
  • Continuous bright red blood from either the rectum or urine
  • Do not resume aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for up to 3 days following the procedure.
  • Difficulty urinating with or without blood clots
  • Severe pain in the rectal area

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