Prostate Biopsy Complications

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

A biopsy is an invasive medical procedure that is for the diagnosis of cancer. It is used to collect a sample of tissue form an organ or area of the body that is suspected to be affected by cancer. A biopsy procedure involves the use of a specialized needle or an open surgery in order to collect the sample. One collected, the sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis where it is determined whether the sample is cancerous or benign. Biopsy procedures could be painful and are often conducted under local or general anesthesia.

The prostate is a small gland that is a part of the male reproductive system. It sits at the top of the urethra. The prostate is made up of the gland itself and of smooth muscle tissue. The gland produces an alkaline fluid that is secreted during ejaculation. This alkaline fluid is useful because the female reproductive tract tends to be acidic in nature. The alkaline fluid neutralizes this acidity and protects the sperm from being destroyed by the acidic environment. This is an essential requirement for successful fertilization to occur. The smooth muscle of the prostate gland helps during ejaculation as it boosts the pressure with which the semen is forced out of the penis. This allows the semen to be deposited further inside the female reproductive system, reducing the distance that the sperm need to swim in order to successfully fertilize a mature egg.

A prostate biopsy is usually ordered when there is an elevation in the level of PSA an antigen that is linked with prostate cancer. The procedure is usually conducted on an outpatient basis with the patient requiring no hospitalization. The procedure uses the rectum as the point of access. This requires an enema to be conducted which clears the bowels. The needle insertion site is anesthetized to avoid pain.

There are some common prostate biopsy complications that may occur. These include the development of an infection, blood appearing in the semen due to prostate damage, blood appearing in the urine and difficulty or pain during urination and ejaculation. The infection problem may be avoided by the prescription of antibiotic medication the day before and for a few days after the test. Other prostate biopsy complications could be avoided if the doctor is extremely careful and an ultrasound imaging machine is used to guide the biopsy needle as it collects the various required samples.

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