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HIFU Focal Therapy and Prostate Biopsies

If you have a raised PSA level, or have been experiencing symptoms relating to prostate issues, you may need to undergo further investigations to determine if you have prostate cancer.

A prostate biopsy involves taking tiny samples of tissue from the prostate gland which are examined under a microscope to check for cancerous cells. If these are found, the biopsy will also show how aggressive it is (whether it has already spread, or how likely it is to spread outside the prostate).

If your biopsy results show the presence of cancerous cells, your doctor will discuss your diagnosis with you, giving you information about what stage of cancer you have.

He or she might also suggest additional tests to further explore your diagnosis and put together your treatment plan.

If your biopsy results come back negative, your doctor will discuss the non-cancerous conditions that might be causing your symptoms, such as prostatitis or BPH with you, and will put together a treatment plan to address these.

I am worried about having a prostate biopsy, can you help?

If you have been diagnosed with raised PSA levels, or have symptoms that point to prostate issues, a biopsy of the prostate is not necessarily the first investigative test that you could benefit from.

A 3T mpMRI scan can be carried out for men with an elevated PSA level before a biopsy. This can pinpoint exactly where any areas of interest are located and allow for much more targeted biopsies, if required.

As prostate biopsies come with a range of side effects and potential risks, you may wish to discuss your options for less invasive testing, which might also include a trans-rectal ultrasound.

At the Focal Therapy Clinic, our testing options for prostate cancer can be accessed quickly and may remove the need for you to undergo an invasive and potentially painful prostate biopsy.

If these options have not been mentioned to you, get in touch with our experienced team, who can discuss testing options with you.

There is a long wait until my prostate biopsy, can you help?

If you have been offered a prostate biopsy on the NHS, but are facing a long wait, this can be worrying.

You may be suffering from ongoing prostate issues causing great discomfort or might be concerned that if you do have prostate cancer, the disease could progress over the weeks and months before your biopsy appointment.

At the Focal Therapy Clinic, we provide a range of prostate testing options, including biopsies, all of which can be accessed very quickly.

Get in touch with our team of experts, who will talk you through the available options.

What are the most common types of prostate biopsy?

Transrectal Ultrasound ‘TRUS’ Guided Prostate Biopsy

A transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy of the prostate (TRUS) is a type of needle biopsy done through the wall of your rectum using a transrectal ultrasound scanner probe. To get a sample of prostate tissue, your doctor will push a fine needle through the probe and into your prostate gland.

You can find out more about transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsies here.

Transperineal Prostate Biopsy

A transperineal biopsy of the prostate is also a type of needle biopsy in which a very fine needle is inserted into the prostate through the skin between the testicles and the rectum (back passage) – an area known as the ‘perineum’.

You can find out more about transperineal prostate biopsies here.

Template Biopsy

A template biopsy of the prostate is, to a large extent, carried out in the same way as a transperineal prostate biopsy, under either local or general anaesthetic.

The difference with this type or prostate biopsy is that it involves using a grid (or template) with tissue samples extracted through holes in the grid by several needles, rather than a single needle. Each hole correlates to numbers and letters, in the same way as grid references are located on maps. This means that tissue samples can be taken from the prostate in a very precise and specific way, leading to more accurate results.

This type of biopsy takes approximately 20 minutes, comes with the same range of side effects as both a transperineal and transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy, and you should expect a similar recovery experience. It has been noted, however, that this type of biopsy often involves a lower level of pain and / or discomfort.

SBx or Saturation Biopsy

Saturation biopsies are carried out in the same way as template biopsies but involve using specialist equipment to take an increased number of separate tissue samples (taking up to 50, rather than the standard 10-12). The intention is to assess the whole of the prostate, mapping out every part, and results are generally more accurate than transrectal or transperineal biopsies.

This type of biopsy comes with the same range of side effects as both a transperineal and transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy, and you should expect a similar recovery experience. It has been noted, however, that this type of biopsy often involves a lower level of pain and / or discomfort.

Due to the increase in number of samples taken, the procedure will typically take a little longer than a standard biopsy.

3D Mapping Biopsy

3D mapping biopsies are slightly more expensive and invasive than traditional prostate cancer biopsy techniques but are more effective in detecting the disease at an earlier stage. This is because more commonly used techniques are limited to 2D and have few anatomical reference points to guide the biopsy needle.

What are the common risks associated with prostate biopsies?

Prostate biopsies are generally considered to be very safe and straightforward, but there are some possible side effects and potential risks that you should be aware of before undertaking the procedure.

These include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Problems with urinating (often resulting in short-term catheterization)
  • Erectile dysfunction

Your doctor or nurse should explain the side effects and risks involved with the procedure you are having, before asking you to sign a consent form.

“HIFU is something people need to be aware of – I believe this treatment should be more widely available and more widely promoted. It wasn’t something suggested to me as a possibility by my urologist and I actually raised it myself. I would recommend HIFU and in fact have recommended it to others.”

Keith (The Focal Therapy Clinic Patient)

Get In Touch

As a group of consultants we are passionate about all prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.

Based upon the details that you know and can provide to us, we will send you a Plain English personalised preliminary suitability report for HIFU Focal Therapy treatment of your prostate cancer.

You can use the information we provide in your conversations with your existing NHS and/or private treatment consultant. Should you wish to talk with us further we would be grateful to help you, but there is absolutely no obligation for you to do so whatsoever.