A template-guided biopsy is carried out under a general anaesthetic. An ultrasound probe is gently inserted into the back passage and the prostate is scanned. A soft, flexible tube is inserted through the penis into the bladder to identify the urethra and is left in place for the duration of the procedure. Using a grid (template) with holes every 5mm placed against the perineum (the skin between the scrotum and back passage).
A biopsy needle is inserted through each hole on the grid and the prostate is sampled every 5mm. In the ultrasound picture below (right), the prostate is seen as a round object that is slightly darker than the rest of the area. Numbers and letters represent the template grid and each hole is represented by a ‘dot’.