Procedure For Conducting a Prostate Biopsy

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on November 12, 2012

The prostate gland is an essential part of the male reproductive system. The presence of a normally functioning prostate gland is essential for the sperm to be able to fertilize an egg in the reproductive tract of a female. The prostate gland produces an alkaline fluid which is secreted into the urethra during ejaculation. This alkaline fluid neutralizes the acidic nature of the female reproductive system. This is the first assistance offered for the sperm by the prostate gland. The second assistance comes from the muscles of the prostate gland which are used to boost the pressure of ejaculation. This allows the deposit of sperm deeper into the female reproductive system. This reduces the distance that the sperm need to travel in order to meet a mature egg and attempt fertilization. These two functions make the prostate gland an important gland for the process of orgasm and reproduction.

A biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that is invasive in nature. It is used to collect a sample of tissue from an area of the body that is suspected to have abnormal tissues in it. The suspicion of abnormality may be due to a blood test which detects some specific anomaly or due to a mass that can be felt during examination or seen during an imaging test.

Prostate cancer is a common form of cancer affecting men, typically older men. A patient generally presents with symptoms of some pain in the area where the prostate is present. After choosing the access route, the doctor will prepare for the prostate biopsy procedure. One access route is through the urethra, but the preferred access route is through the rectum. For a rectal prostate biopsy, the patient is given an enema to clear his bowels. The area of incision is then cleaned thoroughly and anesthetized. The doctor will then use a needle to access the prostate gland. During this process an ultrasound imaging machine is used to provide a live image of the needle as it enters the body. This allows the needle to be properly guided into place. A few samples of tissue are taken at this stage. Once this is complete, the wound may be cleaned again and washed with antiseptic. Most patients who undergo a prostate biopsy can leave the clinic within a few minutes of the test being completed. Patients who have the test under general anesthesia are kept in order to allow the sedation to wear off after the test.

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