The Transrectal Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the male’s prostate gland and the surrounding tissues. Ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of items diagnostic prostate ultrasound can provide information regarding:
- 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
Should you have any concern of prostate signs or symptoms, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for a diagnostic transrectal ultrasound.
How to Prepare for My Transrectal Ultrasound?
There are a few steps to follow in order to prepare for your prostate ultrasound. If you are taking any blood thinning medication, your doctor will instruct you to stop taking them 7-10 days before your scheduled appointment. An enema will be taken around 2-4 hours before your appointment to clear out your colon and rectum for the ultrasound. Before the assessment, you should void your bladder. You may continue to eat as usual and take all of your medications as prescribed.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves; however, should you have any allergies to gel it is important to let the ultrasound technician know. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area. If you have any queries or concerns with preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
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 to expect during my Transrectal Ultrasound Appointment?
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into and you will lie on a padded examination table. You will be asked to remove any jewelry that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure.
When ready, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head and gently insert the probe into the rectum in order to visualize the prostate gland. You may feel some slight discomfort and pressure while the probe is being placed into the rectum. Once all necessary images have been captured, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed.
The assessment will be approximately 30 minutes long.
Although rare, some patients experience a small amount of blood in their sperm or urine following the procedure. If the bleeding seems concerning, please contact a medical professional for further examination.
Soon after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report of your diagnosis to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.