Medical Imaging

Ultrasound > Exams & Procedures > Transrectal Ultrasound (with and without biopsy)

Transrectal Ultrasound allows the radiologist to closely examine the prostate gland for abnormalities. At certain times, multiple biopsies of the prostate gland may be performed to examine any evidence of cancer or inflammation.

  • The procedure takes about 30 minutes.
  • A Fleet enema should be taken before your exam. The Fleet enema can be purchased at any pharmacy and instructions will be given to you on how to use it.
  • If a biopsy is going to be performed, your doctor will give you some antibiotics, usually Cipro, to take the night before your biopsy and one the morning of your biopsy and another after the biopsy.
  • The radiologist will call you into the room and take a medical history.
  • You will be asked to lie down on a table with your back facing the radiologist with your knees bent up to your chest.
  • A transducer or probe that is about the size of a thumb will be placed into the rectum to take pictures and measurements of the prostate gland.
  • If a biopsy is to be performed, the radiologist will then take about six biopsies or samples of tissue. A small needle is inserted very quickly into the prostate and taken out very quickly from the rectum. These samples of prostate tissue are sent to the laboratory for testing.
  • A report will be mailed to your doctor within seven to 10 working days.
  • You will be given a glass of water to drink after the exam and asked to urinate before changing your clothes.
  • The radiologist will check on you once more after you have urinated.
  • You may experience a small amount of bleeding from your rectum and/or urine after the prostate exam for up to 48 hours.
  • Blood in the semen is also common. Let the radiologist or your family doctor know if there is more than a small amount.

Does this hurt?

You may experience some discomfort. The vast majority of men tolerate the procedure very well.