Types of Biopsies

These are the most common types of biopsies and the least accurate. Also referred to as blind or random biopsies, ultrasound does not discriminate cancerous tissue from noncancerous tissue within the gland. They are random due to a generic segmenting of the gland into which needles are directed in a hit-or-miss attempt to capture cancerous tissue. In a nutshell, cancer can be missed.

The transrectal biopsy uses a spring-loaded needle to collect the samples as quickly, efficiently, and painlessly as possible. The biopsy gun can collect between 6 and 13 samples, depending on how many a doctor believes is necessary to diagnose you correctly. In the transrectal biopsy, the ultrasound guides the doctor and the biopsy gun to the proper place. Patients who opt for this prostate biopsy may experience a small amount of bleeding from the rectum as well as blood and urine in the semen afterwards.

Technology has allowed for improved accuracy with biopsies. Research facilities and learn the types of biopsies performed so that informed decisions can be made for the most accurate diagnosis.

A fusion biopsy is where the doctor does the biopsy procedure using images from a previously performed MRI that are uploaded to a computer and fused to transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) images which are obtained in real time to guide a prostate biopsy.

These types of biopsies use specialized technology and equipment and are less common.

The PrecisionPoint process uses equipment, along the transperineal path, that can thoroughly sample all regions of the prostate, including those difficult to access with the transrectal approach. It is said to minimize the potential for infection, since passage of the biopsy needle avoids the rectal wall contaminants entirely. This allows the patient to avoid pre-medicating with antibiotics or doing bowel prep.