Complications of Prostate Biopsy
Prostate biopsy is usually performed under ultrasound guidance via transrectal approach. It is a micro-invasive procedure that is performed in an out-patient setting under local anesthesia and is usually associated with little to no down time for recovery. If performed in expert hands, there is little to minimal risk of any side effects or adverse effects. Healthcare professionals usually advise prophylactic antibiotics prior to procedure to further reduce the risk of complications.
Are there any complications of Prostate Biopsy Procedure?
Most complications of prostate biopsy can be avoided by using prophylactic medications and maintaining optimal care after the biopsy. Some common complications that may occur in some susceptible patients are:
- Urinary tract infection – the most common complication that can be avoided with optimal pre and post-procedure care
- Prostatitis – inflammation of prostate gland due to procedure related contamination if optimal aseptic measures are not maintained, is a rare but serious complication. It should be managed on emergent basis.
- Urosepsis – risk of this complication is high in patients with abnormally high blood sugar levels, recent history of hospitalization, poorly managed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and presence of an indwelling catheter
- Systemic sepsis – if urosepsis is not controlled or contained, risk of systemic sepsis increases for which doctors may have to administer intravenous antibiotics
- Rectal bleeding – minor rectal bleeding is normal in prostate biopsy and usually requires no management. In some cases, frank bleeding may occur especially when a large biopsy sample is taken. In all such cases, rectal compression or packing with a gauze is usually sufficient to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, surgical ligation (or suturing) maybe needed. Other therapeutic modalities include epinephrine injection to constrict blood vessels or clipping.
- Urinary retention – in some cases, reactionary swelling due to tissue trauma may occur, which may become severe enough to obstruct the flow of urine – causing urinary retention. The key symptoms include incomplete voiding of urine, feeling of discomfort or pain. If symptoms persist, your doctor may catheterize you temporarily.
- Dissemination of cancer cells – there is a very rare possibility that cancer cells may disseminate during needle biopsy.
If you have any questions regarding prostate biopsy, speak to your doctor to prepare ahead of time. It is imperative to mention that early detection of prostate cancer can greatly improve the prognosis and risk of cancer related complications.