This article discusses the preparations for ultrasound guided prostate biopsy, the conditions used and the process of performing a biopsy. The first step in preparing the patient is a cleansing enema before biopsy. Every author proposes the use of a preoperative antibiotic based prophylaxis. Differences may be found in the type, dosage and the duration of this preoperative application, which can last from 2 h to 2 days. For anaesthesia, lidocaine has been proposed, which may be used as a gel applied in the rectum or in the form of a prostate infiltrate. Quite a few colleagues administer a brief intravenous narcosis. A major debate goes on in respect of defining the number of biopsy samples needed. Hodge proposed sextant biopsy in 1989, for which we had false negative findings in 20% of all cases. Because of this, it has recently been suggested that eight or rather ten samples be taken. There are some who question even this. Twelve biopsy samples do offer an advantage compared to six, although in the case of eight this is not the case. We shall present an in depth discussion of the various opinions on the different numbers of biopsies samples required. For the sample site, the apex, the base and the middle part are proposed, and (completing the process) two additional samples can also be taken from the transition zone (TZ), since 20% of all prostate cancers originate from TZ. In case of a palpable nodule or any lesion made visible by TRUS, an additional, targeted, biopsy has to be performed. Certain new techniques like the 3-D Doppler, contrast, intermittent and others shall also be presented. The control of the full length of samples taken by a gun, as well as the proper conservation of the samples, are parts of pathological processing and of the technical tasks. A repeated biopsy is necessary in the case of PIN atypia, beyond which the author also discusses other indications for a repeated biopsy. We may expect the occurrence of direct postoperative complications and it is necessary to know how to treat these.
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