Is a Prostate Biopsy Dangerous?

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

The prostate gland is located in the pelvic cavity. It is found in men and forms an important part of the male reproductive system. While the testicles are responsible for sperm production, the prostate produces an alkaline fluid that is secreted during male orgasm. This fluid mixes with the semen and is deposited inside the female reproductive tract. During the process of orgasm, the prostate performs another important task. Its muscles tend to spasm and this process provides a boost for the pressure of the orgasm, allowing the sperm to be delivered closer to their target. This makes the prostate an important organ for the viability of sperm.

A prostate biopsy is a biopsy procedure that is used on the prostate gland. Most biopsy procedures are on larger organs that are more easily accessed. In these larger organs, the tumor is generally visible on an imaging scan making access to the suspected cancer cells extremely easy. In the prostate, the entire gland is the size of a walnut on average. It is difficult to find a tumor within such a small organ. For this reason, the prostate biopsy relies on multiple samples and not on a single sample. This makes the test longer and more dangerous.

The prostate biopsy dangers are associated with injury to the organ and the surrounding area. Because of the multiple samples demanded in this procedure, the gland is exposed to multiple attacks from the biopsy needle. This produces many wound sites around the gland. If the procedure passes without a hitch, these wounds will heal quickly and produce no symptoms. However, many patients will suffer from wound related problems. The most common among these problems is the passage of blood into the semen or into the urine. Blood may also be found around the incision site if the wound in that location has not healed. Another common problem associated with a prostate biopsy procedure is that of an infection developing in the gland or around the gland. The multiple incision points allow germs and bacteria to invade the area. This risk may be reduced to some extent by providing the patient with a course of antibiotic medication. However, patients do report infections including urinary tract infections which require further treatment. There is another prostate biopsy danger which, though rare, is still a matter of concern. This is the risk of serious damage occurring within the organ due to needle injury.

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