In men, the prostate gland is located directly in front of the rectum, so the ultrasound exam is performed transrectally.
For a transrectal ultrasound, you will be asked to lie on your side with your knees bent. A disposable protective cover is placed over the transducer, it is lubricated and then placed into the rectum.
The images are obtained from different angles to get the best view of the prostate gland.
The procedure takes around 20-30minutes.
A transrectal ultrasound of the prostate gland is performed to:
- detect disorders within the prostate.
- determine whether the prostate is enlarged, with measurements acquired as needed for any treatment planning.
- detect an abnormal growth within the prostate.
- help diagnose the cause of a man’s infertility.
A transrectal ultrasound of the prostate gland is typically used to help diagnose symptoms such as:
- a nodule felt by a physician during a routine physical exam or prostate cancer screening exam.
- an elevated blood test result.
- difficulty urinating.
Because ultrasound provides real-time images, it also can be used to guide procedures such as needle biopsies, in which a needle is used to sample cells (tissue) from an abnormal area in the prostate gland for later laboratory testing.