What’s transrectal ultrasound?

Print anything with Printful

Transrectal ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses sound waves to examine the male pelvic organs, including the prostate gland. It may be used to screen for prostate cancer, take measurements of the prostate, perform a needle biopsy, or diagnose male infertility. Patients may be instructed to use an enema and drink water before the procedure, and may experience some side effects such as blood in the stool or urine. Results may be provided immediately or take a few days.

A transrectal ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the inside of the body. It is often used to examine the male pelvic organs. The most common use of ultrasound is to visualize the prostate gland and screen for prostate cancer. Once a prostate exam is completed, if there are indications of prostate cancer, such as an enlarged prostate or problems urinating, a transrectal ultrasound may be ordered.

During transrectal ultrasound, your doctor may take measurements of your prostate and any abnormal growths. Measurements may be needed for some types of prostate cancer treatments. A needle biopsy may also be performed. This involves taking a small sample of tissue from the prostate to analyze it for the presence of cancer cells. Ultrasound may also be ordered if you have male infertility to help determine a cause.

Before getting the transrectal ultrasound, the patient may be told to use an enema at home. This helps empty the colon and may prevent the need for a bowel movement during the procedure. Some doctors prefer that a patient have a moderately full bladder during the procedure to allow for a better view of the prostate. A patient may be told to drink a few glasses of water before the procedure.

Sedation is usually not necessary unless the patient is unable to keep still or is very anxious. The patient will be instructed to lie on the examination table on their side with their knees bent towards their chest. A transducer specially designed to fit the rectum is used. The lubricating gel is placed on the transducer and inserted into the rectum. As the doctor guides the transducer into the rectum, he will watch a monitor to determine when the prostate is in view.

Although the procedure is somewhat invasive, it is considered safe. The most common side effect is blood in the stool or urine for a day or two after the exam. There is a small risk of infection, although this is unlikely. Patients who experience unusual rectal pain, excessive bleeding, or fever after the procedure should call their doctor right away.

The procedure usually takes about half an hour to complete. If a needle biopsy needs to be done, it may take a little longer. Some doctors may provide the results of a transrectal ultrasound immediately after the procedure. In other cases, a radiologist may need to view the ultrasound, and the results may take a few days. Most patients can resume normal activities soon after the procedure.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content