Prostate Ultrasound (U/S)

What is a Prostate U/S?

It is a non-invasive test to evaluate the size and structure of the prostate gland. It is conducted with an ultrasound device that has a special fixed probe for investigating the prostate. The prostate can be examined either transabdominally or transrectally. In the Transabdominal U/S, the special ultrasound probe is placed at the lower part (above the bladder). Transrectal U/S, can evaluate the prostate with higher accuracy. The procedure is carried out with a special probe that is inserted into the rectum through the anal ring. The examination procedure is performed by a Radiologist or Urologist trained in Urinary Tract Ultrasonography.

When is a Prostate U/S performed?

Your physician may recommend a Prostate Ultrasound for various reasons. For example:

  • If you have some symptom from the lower urinary tract, such as urinary frequency, dysuria, nocturia. The ultrasound will evaluate the prostate size and help the physician plan the appropriate therapy.  
  • If PSA is high and there is suspicion for prostate cancer, U/S helps to diagnose and obtain guided biopsies from the prostate gland.

What preparation is needed for a Prostate U/S?

Before Transabdominal U/S, the patient has to receive a high amount of fluids, so that the bladder is filled up with urine.  

For Transrectal U/S, no special preparation is needed.

U/S has no radiation, and is absolutely safe for pregnant women and children.

How is a Prostate U/S performed?

You may need to undergo a Prostate U/S either as an outpatient or as a hospital inpatient. Your physician will explain the procedure and answer any questions related to the test you may potentially have. The procedure is as follows:

Transabdominal U/S

  • You will be asked to remove your clothes from the abdominal region and lie on an examination bed.
  • A clear viscous gel will be applied on the region to be examined. You should be aware that clothes do not get stained by any potentially remaining gel residues.
  • Then your physician will place the ultrasound probe on the gel and start scanning the region. You will feel only a light pressure without any pain at all.
  • Once the procedure is completed, the physician will remove the gel from the examined region.

Transrectal U/S

Following the U/S procedure, you can right away resume to your everyday activities without any restrictions. 

  • You will be asked to remove your clothes from the waist down and lie on the examination bed. The physician will determine your body position during the examination.
  • The anal region will be lubricated with a special gel. Then a digital examination will be carried out and the ultrasound probe will be inserted transrectally with gentle movements. This procedure is not pleasant  but is painless, as long as you follow carefully the physician’s instructions.
  • You will feel a light pressure similar to the sensation before bowel movement.
  • Once the procedure is completed, the physician will remove the gel from the examined region.

How are the results of Prostate U/S interpreted?

Should there be any abnormal finding, the physician will inform you about this. You will be given further instructions and information about therapeutic options that are appropriate for you. Should there be any doubts, you will be recommended to undergo further screening.