Transrectal ultrasound, also known as a prostate ultrasound, serves the purpose of providing images of a male’s prostate gland and the surrounding tissues. Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that provides information to physicians in order to help diagnosis and create treatment plans based off of the images received. In this particular case, a small ultrasound probe that is in a protective case and properly lubricated will be inserted into the rectum in order to visualize the prostate gland. The technician will obtain images from different angles in order to collect all the visualizations needed to help understand what is going on inside. This ultrasound examination normally takes between 20 to 30 minutes.
Why Would I Need a Transrectal Ultrasound?
Some common reasons for why a transrectal ultrasound is requested include but not limited to:
- Identifying an enlarged prostate gland
- Diagnosing the cause of infertility in a patient
- Looking for abnormalities in the prostate after results of a high prostate specific antigen test
- Help diagnosis patients who are experiencing difficulties when urinating
Is There Any Preparation I Need to Do Before My Transrectal Ultrasound?
There are a few steps that must be taken in order to prepare for your transrectal ultrasound. First, if you are taking any blood thinner medications, your doctor will instruct you to stop taking them 7-10 days before your scheduled appointment. An enema will be taken about 2-4 hours before your appointment in order to clear out your colon and rectum before the ultrasound. You may also be instructed to empty your bladder before beginning the examination. It is suggested that you come wearing loose-fitting and comfortable clothing and you may be asked to remove your clothes for the examination; in the event of this situation, you will be provided with a gown. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these preparatory steps, contact your family doctor before your scheduled appointment to address these matters.
What Should I Expect During and After the Ultrasound?
With any medical procedure that involves a probe being inserted into the body, you may feel some slight discomfort and pressure while the probe is being placed into the rectum. Although rare, patients have experienced a small amount of blood presenting in their sperm or urine following the procedure. If the bleeding seems concerning, please contact a medical professional for further examination. When the procedure is complete, you will be able to resume all of your regular daily activities. For any further questions, please contact your family or referring physician before your scheduled appointment.