How to perform transrectal ultrasound and prostate biopsy
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How to perform transrectal ultrasound and prostate biopsy

Bruce Turner Nurse consultant, uro-oncology, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, England
Lawrence Drudge-Coates Urological oncology clinical nurse specialist, King’s College Hospital, London, England

Rationale and key points

This article aims to help nurses to support patients who require a prostate biopsy to diagnose or exclude prostate cancer. Nurses will also gain an understanding of the procedure for transrectal biopsy.

A transrectal biopsy is commonly used to access the prostate.

Indications for a biopsy include elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood, identification of abnormal areas on digital rectal examination and active surveillance of low-risk prostate cancer.

The healthcare professional uses an ultrasound probe to guide them to specific areas of the prostate to obtain biopsy specimens.

Reflective activity

Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How you would identify a patient with post-biopsy sepsis.

Psychological support needs of a patient undergoing prostate biopsy.

Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at

Nursing Standard. 30, 32, 36-39. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.32.36.s42


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 02 July 2015

Accepted: 01 February 2016