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New to Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital patients: Transperineal biopsy for prostate cancer

Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, urological surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among older American men. In fact, men over the age of 65 account for two-thirds of all prostate cancer diagnoses. But, like most cancers, early detection can significantly improve the chances of a good outcome after a prostate cancer diagnosis. That’s why routine screening and testing is so important.

“If there is concern for prostate cancer, either because of physical exam, blood work and/or imaging, the next step is to order a biopsy,” says Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital urological surgeon Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD.

At Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Dr. Trinh and his colleagues perform fusion biopsy using images taken from an MRI overlaid with images taken from an ultrasound probe in real time. This allows the surgeon to easily and quickly pinpoint the areas of concern and biopsy under local anesthesia in an exam room. Conventionally, this type of biopsy has been performed transrectally, meaning the probe is inserted through the rectum into the prostate. But recently, Dr. Trinh and his colleagues have begun preforming this type of biopsy transperineally. 

“Inserting the needle through the skin of the perineum rather than the rectum greatly reduces the risk of infection,” explains Dr. Trinh. “In fact, with a transrectal biopsy for prostate cancer, the risk of infection is 1 to 3 percent, which is very high. With a transperineal biopsy, the risk of infection is close to zero.”

For the patient undergoing the procedure, the process and recovery time is much the same. But by reducing the risk of infection, the patient and their surgeon can feel more confident about a good outcome.

To learn more about prostate cancer, including risk factors, screenings, diagnosis and treatment options, visit BWFH.org.

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