Transrectal ultrasound showing the volume of the prostate

In case of an elevated PSA blood test or a suspicious finding on digital rectal examination of the prostate, a transrectal ultrasound provides accurate imaging of the prostate. It is possible to take samples of the prostate with a biopsy needle.

To take the biopsy, a probe or a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is slipped into the rectum and guides a fine needle into the prostate through the rectal wall.

To reduce the risk of infection after the test, antibiotics will be given. The procedure is performed in the rooms and local anaesthesia can be used. The procedure normally takes 5-10 minutes. Most men can resume work and normal activities the next day.



To reduce the risk of infection after the test, you will be given some antibiotics. Please start the antibiotics two hours before your biopsy appointment. Check you are not allergic to the antibiotics prescribed.

There is no other special preparation for this procedure, although having the bladder overfull can make the test uncomfortable. You may eat and drink before the examination. We recommend that you arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards.



You will be asked to lie on a bed on your left side. After performing a rectal examination, the specialist will place the ultrasound probe into your rectum. The probe will display an ultrasound picture of the internal part of the prostate.  If biopsies of the prostate are to be taken, local anaesthetic may be injected into the prostate. Fine needles then take small samples of the prostate from different places within the gland.

Following the biopsy, your samples will be sent to the lab for analysis. It may take up to two weeks to get the results. An appointment will have been made for you to return for your results.


Following the procedure

  • Finish your antibiotics as prescribed.
  • After a biopsy you may see blood in the bowel motion, urine or with ejaculation.  This is normal and unless there is lots of bleeding, there is no cause for concern.
  • While there is blood in the urine, continue to have a good fluid intake. This blood may be present for over a week. Blood may be present in the ejaculate for up to 6 weeks.
  • Occasionally swelling may occur within the prostate after the biopsy.  This swelling may slow your urine flow and a catheter may be required until the swelling settles down.

If you develop high fevers, shivering and cold sweats, you may have an infection. This generally happens within the first 48 hours after the biopsy.  An infection is serious and you must contact your urologist.  There is always a specialist on call regardless of the time of day or night. You should contact them on the main phone number, 03 355 5129.

AuthorUrology Associates