A biopsy is a sample of tissue taken from the body to be analyzed in the laboratory under a microscope. Biopsies of the prostate gland (located near the rectum in males) are usually performed to identify prostate cancer, which is the only definite diagnosis. The technique of obtaining a prostate biopsy is to insert a biopsy needle transrectally (through the rectal wall) or transperineally (through the space between the anus and penis) to reach the prostate. These needles are usually guided by ultrasound imaging, but for better clarity of soft tissues, MRI imaging or a new technique that combines both ultrasound and MRI is now used for accurately identifying cancerous areas in the prostate.
The MRI fusion biopsy is performed under local anaesthetic by first obtaining an MRI of the prostate. The ultrasound procedure is then commenced and fusion computer software overlaps the MRI and ultrasound images to create a clear 3D picture that precisely guides the biopsy needle to the suspicious areas of the prostate. The procedure may take about 15 to 20 minutes to obtain an adequate number of tissue samples. You are provided with pain medications to keep you comfortable.