A trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided biopsy is a test used to determine if a patient has prostate cancer and how likely it is to spread.

The procedure involves inserting a lubricated ultrasound probe into the rectum. The ultrasound probe scans the area and produces an image onto a screen. This helps guide the surgeon to use a thin needle and take ten to twelve small pieces of tissue from the prostate.

The procedure is usually done using local anaesthetic and will take roughly 10-15 minutes to complete. Some patients may find the procedure painful and others only slightly uncomfortable. The surgeon and anaesthetist will work hard to make the procedure as painless as possible for the patient. 


The biopsy samples will be examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells. A report with the results will be discussed with the patient by their consultant which will detail if any cancer was found, how many biopsies sampled contained cancer and how much cancer, if present, was found in each sample.

If cancer is found the consultant will discuss with the patient how likely the cancer is to grow and spread outside of the prostate and the next stage in treatment. If no cancer is found this does not mean no cancer is present as there could be some cancer missed by the biopsy needles. The consultant is likely to keep an eye on the prostate using tests or an MRI.

The complete process involved with a TRUS biopsy will be discussed in detail by the consultant.