What are the risks of template biopsy?

Transperineal biopsies carry risk as a normal TRUS prostate biopsy carried out through the rectum. The complications of both are similar, but with two important differences. As the needles are going through skin rather than back passage, the procedure is cleaner and has a lower infection rate. However, because we take more biopsies, there is bruising and the importantly, the prostate can swell causing the water passage to block. This is called retention of urine and you will need to have a plastic tube (catheter) inserted into the bladder to drain the urine for a few days whilst the swelling goes down. The plastic tube is a temporary measure. To reduce the risk of this happening we ask that you take a tablet that relaxes the prostate, as described above.

The other complications that you need to be aware of are:

  • Bruising of skin (almost all men)
  • Bruising occasionally spreads to the scrotum (between 1 in 20 to 1 in 10)
  • Temporary discomfort or pain in the back passage area (most men)
  • Bloody urine (‘pinkish’) for the first few hours to 2 days (most men)
  • Bloody semen/ejaculate in most men (lasting for up to 3 months)
  • Prostatitis (inflammation or infection of the prostate) in some men (less than 1 in 20)
  • Retention of urine requiring a temporary catheter (1 in 20)
  • Infection (requiring admission and intravenous antibiotics (0-1 in 100)
  • A few men have experienced temporary poorer erections (1 in 50)