14 April 2021
Transperineal (TP) biopsy is an innovative diagnostic biopsy procedure that we offer at Spire Leeds Hospital to help detect prostate cancer.
The prostate is a gland, usually the size and shape of a walnut that grows bigger as men get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the uretha, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate’s main role is to make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.
Prostate cancer and diagnosis
Cancer of the prostate is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, having overtaken breast cancer. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and the numbers are rising with more than 47,500 men diagnosed with the condition every year – that’s 129 men a day. Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s 11,500 a year.
Men who have symptoms of, or concerns about, prostate cancer are usually referred to see a consultant urologist and initially have a blood test to measure their levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen). If the levels are high, most men will be referred for an MRI scan which will highlight any areas within the prostate gland which may need to be tested using a biopsy procedure to determine if there is any prostate cancer present.
Traditionally, a prostate biopsy called a TRUS biopsy was undertaken which involved inserting a needle through the wall of the rectum in order to get a tissue sample of the prostate which could then be analysed.
This type of biopsy was safe for most men but carried with it a risk of infection in up to 5% of patients and this could lead to sepsis, a very serious infection.
Benefits of TP biopsy
The TP biopsy is a new procedure which is undertaken by a consultant interventional radiologist following referral from a consultant urologist. During this procedure, the needle is inserted through the skin overlying the prostate rather than through the rectum. By taking this approach, the risk of infection is significantly reduced. In addition, a TP biopsy allows the doctors to target areas of the prostate which can be difficult to reach using the TRUS technique.
Consultant Radiologist, Dr Oliver Hulson
Consultant Interventional Radiologist, Dr Oliver Hulson is one of the specialists performing the biopsy at Spire Leeds and says: “TP biopsy is a welcome addition to the services we offer at Spire Leeds and dramatically improves the patient experience. The new procedure is safe and accurate and performed under local anaesthetic in the radiology department, so, no general anaesthetic or day case stay is required. No rectal swabs or blood tests are required prior to the procedure and in addition to the reduced associated infection, patients find the TP biopsy more comfortable than the traditional TRUS approach.”
To find out more about transperineal biopsy, make an online enquiry or call 0113 218 5967/77.