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Chicago Endoscopy Center

3536 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: 773-772-1212
Fax: 773-772-8666
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Prostate Biopsy


A digital rectal exam may reveal a lump or otherwise abnormal prostate, the walnut-sized reproductive gland in men, which may indicate the presence of cancer. Based on what is found in the rectal exam, the doctor may order a blood test to determine whether there is a higher level of prostate-specific antigen, an indicator of prostate cancer. The doctor then may order a prostate biopsy during which tissue samples are collected for examination under a microscope.

How to Prepare

The doctor will start by collecting relevant information, including the following:

  • Whether the patient has had any bleeding problems.
  • Whether the patient has any allergies, especially to medications or the latex used in gloves.
  • Which medications, if any, the patient already is taking. This will include both over-the-counter and prescription medications. The doctor will be especially interested in blood-thinning medications and their dosages.

This would be the time to share with the doctor any questions of concerns you have about the prostate biopsy, including any risks and what the determining factors for prostate cancer are.

If the prostate biopsy is done under local anesthesia, there may be no need for special preparations. However, if the prostate biopsy is performed under a general anesthesia, the patient will receive instructions from the health care provider in advance with instructions on when to stop eating and drinking. The doctor also may give you some directions regarding the medications normally taken.

For those whose prostate biopsy is performed through the rectum, an enema may be necessary.

Patients also may be given antibiotics before the prostate biopsy to prevent the development of infection at the insertion site.

How Treatment is Performed

A prostate biopsy is performed by inserting a thin, spring-loaded needle, guided by a transrectal ultrasound, through either the rectum, the urethra or the perineum, the area between the anus and the scrotum, to extract some tissue. Depending on the method used for the prostate biopsy, the patient may lie on his back or side, or be asked to kneel.

The prostate biopsy will take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the method used and how many tissue samples are collected.

What Happens After

Those whose prostate biopsy was performed under general anesthetic, will remain in a recovery room for a few hours. Patients, regardless of the method used, generally are advised to avoid strenuous activity for at least four hours following a prostate biopsy.

Regardless of the method used, the patient will need someone to take him home upon release.

The patient also may experience tenderness in the pelvic area. In addition, blood may appear in the urine for up to five days and for those whose procedure went through the rectum, there may be bleeding in that area for up to three days. Semen may be discolored for up to a month.

The doctor will be able to share whether the results of the prostate biopsy were normal or abnormal within 10 days.

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Prostate Biopsy. We offer treatments for patients residing in Chicago (Lincoln Park, Lake View, Bucktown, West Town, Logan Square, Hermosa, Belmont Cragin, Belmont Gardens, Avondale, North Center, Irving Park, Portage Park, Albany Park Lincoln Square, Near West Side, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Downtown) and Chicago Suburbs (Oak Park, Cicero, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, River Grove, River Forest, Berwy, Skokie, Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Maywood, Stone Park Schiller Park).

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