Upstate Urology is one of the few places in the country to offer new procedure
By Timothy Byler, MD
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers and will affect one out of every nine men.
We look for signs of prostate cancer around age 55 and continue to around age 70. Signs of prostate cancer include a lump a doctor may feel on your prostate or an elevated blood test which results in referral to a urologist. Often, the blood test prostate specific antigen, or PSA, is the sign that is found by your primary care doctor during annual visits.
Once a man sees a urologist, the choices of watching the blood test or proceeding with a biopsy of the prostate are often discussed. A biopsy is when a doctor takes samples of the prostate to see if there is prostate cancer. This is the only way to know for sure if the blood tests or lump represent cancer or not.
In the past, many men had a biopsy done by placing an ultrasound in the rectum and taking samples through the rectum. This works well because the prostate is just inside and very close. Unfortunately, many men have fevers and infections after this biopsy. This infection has been rising because many bacteria have developed resistance to our common antibiotics for this. Also, some men have excessive bleeding from the rectum post biopsy and require procedures to stop it.
To help this, here at Upstate Urology, we have started performing these biopsies a different way. It’s called transperinealbiopsy or TP biopsy for short. The ultrasound is still placed in the rectum to see the prostate. The biopsy needles, however, are placed through the skin under the scrotum. The major advantage is that there is minimal, if any, infection risk this way. This prevents the need to take extended antibiotics or be admitted to the hospital. There is also minimal bleeding risk, stopping that concern for the rectal bleeding. Better yet, this can be performed in the office for most men safely.
This is a relatively new procedure and is only performed at few places in the country. The trend to perform the biopsy this way is growing with more centers learning every year. This is a big step to help men have a safer biopsy with less post procedure complications.
If you are concerned about your prostate cancer risk, have an elevated PSA or have been told you need a biopsy performed, we are happy to discuss our new method in greater detail. Please call 315-464-1500 for an appointment.
Physician Timothy Byler is an assistant professor of urology and member of Upstate Urology at Upstate University Hospital. He received his medical degree from Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical school and completed his residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University.