Elevated PSA

Elevated PSA: Do I Have Cause To Worry?

Anytime the word "cancer" is mentioned by your doctor, there is cause for concern. When Jim's PSA test showed an elevated count, prostate cancer was on his mind. Would the biopsy relieve or confirm his worries? Here is his story...


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You Need a Prostate Biopsy? Here's What to Expect.

After consulting with your physician, it’s been determined that your Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is elevated and you will need a prostate biopsy.

Here’s a run-down of what you can expect from the procedure.

The day prior to your biopsy procedure, you will be started on antibiotics. I also ask my patients to do an enema the morning of the procedure.

It is your choice whether to have your biopsy done in the office (under local anesthesia) or under complete sedation in the operating room. In either case, it is best not to eat for eight hours prior to the procedure.

I usually ask patients to arrive an hour before their appointment time. At that time, I will review the details of the procedure with you again and answer any final questions you may have.

In the biopsy room, you will be helped onto the table and asked to lie on your right side, with your knees drawn up toward your chest. A ultrasound probe will then be placed in the rectum and numbing medication called Lidocaine is injected near the prostatic nerves to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible during the procedure.

I perform a total of 12 biopsies. The biopsy is actually done with a spring-loaded needle that makes a slight clicking sound whenever it takes a tiny bit of tissue. Each tissue sample will then be sent to the pathologist for evaluation. The entire procedure will last approximately five minutes.

While the office procedure is not pain free, most patients compare it to going to the dentist—uncomfortable but certainly tolerable.

After the biopsy is complete you will be asked to get dressed and schedule your follow up appointment.

You can expect to have blood in the urine, stool or semen for several days after the procedure and can resume normal activities the following day. It usually takes at least a week to get the results back. And of course, I will contact you sooner if I hear something prior to your scheduled appointment.

Dr. Todd Breaux is a urologist at Akron General Medical Center and president of Physicians Urology Group in Akron, Ohio.

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