What is a transperineal prostate biopsy?

A transperineal prostate biopsy is a diagnostic procedure used to take small tissue samples from your prostate gland. It’s performed by your consultant using local anaesthetic in one of our specialist outpatient clinics – so there’s no general anaesthetic and no hospital stay required.

An MRI of your prostate will have been arranged by your consultant prior to any biopsy.

During the procedure, your consultant will use an ultrasound probe to create images of your prostate. They’ll use information about suspicious areas from the MRI scan of your prostate to highlight target areas in the live ultrasound images. This helps them guide a needle to the correct area and take samples of your prostate tissue. The removed samples are sent to a lab for analysis under a microscope and the results are sent back to your consultant, usually within seven to 14 days.

The biopsy results will show whether the prostate cells are cancerous or if your cancer has changed. We can also use this type of biopsy to diagnose other conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).

You may also hear this type of biopsy called an MRI targeted prostate biopsy.

Why do I need a prostate biopsy?

If you’ve had an MRI scan that showed some abnormalities in your prostate, your consultant may recommend a transperineal prostate biopsy. They may also suggest one if you have:
  • High PSA levels in your blood
  • A lump on your prostate that was found during a digital rectal examination

Book an appointment

If you’re worried about symptoms or would like a second opinion, enquire now for more information and to book an appointment.

I would wholeheartedly recommend having this procedure if it’s suggested for you. Mine was done under local anaesthetic in just 30 minutes, and was quick and painless

Shaun, Transperineal prostate biopsy patient

What is a Vector prostate biopsy?

Our UrologyHubs in Cambridge and Windsor now offer transperineal Vector prostate biopsies – an innovative and highly accurate, prostate biopsy technique using image fusion software and recent advances in tracking technology to improve accuracy and your comfort during the local anaesthetic procedure and reduce side effects.

In a standard transperineal prostate biopsy, the ultrasound probe in the rectum is moved around, which can cause discomfort and distort the match between the MRI image and the live ultrasound image. Often several needle entry points are required to take the biopsies.

In a Vector prostate biopsy, the advanced technology used means the ultrasound probe remains stationary and only two injections in the perineum are needed for the samples. This helps improve your comfort and the accuracy of the match between the live ultrasound imaging and MRI scan.

Side effects like inability to pass urine, pain and risk of infections are very minimal with the additional convenience of having the procedure performed under local anaesthetic

You can expect the procedure to last around five minutes, but it may take a little longer if your urologist is taking some biopsies or urine samples.

Book an appointment

Find out more about Vector prostate biopsies at our Cambridge and Windsor UrologyHubs.

0808 304 2332
0808 304 2332

The procedure was a bit of a non-event if I’m honest. I had it done with a local anaesthetic and felt no discomfort during or following the procedure. I went straight home after and although I took it a little easy, I was absolutely fine. My results came back very quickly.

David, Vector prostate biopsy patient

What happens at a prostate biopsy?

Both transperineal prostate biopsies and Vector prostate biopsies are performed under local anaesthetic. This means you don’t need a general anaesthetic and can leave the centre after your appointment. You can also eat and drink as normal before your appointment. You should continue taking medication as usual before your procedure. However, you may need to stop any blood-thinning medication before your biopsy. We’ll discuss this in more detail with you.

You can expect the procedure to last around five minutes, but it may take a little longer if your urologist is taking some biopsies or urine samples.

What to expect on the day

Before the procedure, your consultant may examine your prostate and assess its size and feel. You’ll then lie on a treatment couch on your back. Once you’re ready, your consultant will insert an ultrasound probe into your back passage. This feeds an ultrasound image onto a screen. Your consultant will guide the needle into the suspicious areas in your prostate either by sight or using software that overlays your previous MRI scan onto the live ultrasound images.

Before performing the biopsy, your consultant will apply a local anaesthetic to the area to reduce any discomfort. Once the area of your prostate is numb, they’ll insert the needle through the perineum and into the prostate.

Once a small number of samples have been taken, a firm dressing or a pad may be applied to the insertion site. You’ll be asked to stay in the centre until you’ve passed urine, after which you can go home.

Getting your prostate biopsy results

Seven to 14 days after your biopsy

Your consultant will organise a second appointment with you, either face to face, phone or by Telehealth video conferencing, to discuss your results.

What happens if cancer is found?

We know this can be a worrying time, and we’re here to support you. Your consultant will explain your diagnosis and treatment options, listen to your concerns, and answer any questions you may have. They’ll also discuss your case in a multidisciplinary team with other prostate cancer specialists to decide the best treatment plan tailored to your needs. If we need to conduct further tests or scans to establish more about the cancer, we can arrange these for you without the wait so you can start treatment as soon as possible.

More than treating your cancer

We also offer all of our patients integrative care, such as counselling through our partnership with the Penny Brohn UK charity. Some of our centres provide exercise medicine, which is proven to help reduce side effects of treatment and speed up your recovery.

Find a centre near you