How to Prepare for a Prostate Biopsy


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How to prepare for a prostate biopsy is something you may wonder about if you and your doctor have determined that you will undergo this procedure. First you need to fully understand the benefits and risks associated with the prostate biopsy. After that, there are several steps you need to take to prepare for the biopsy. Your doctor will discuss these steps on how to prepare for a prostate biopsy with you.

Here is how to prepare for a prostate biopsy

  • Stop taking blood-thinning medications. You will need to stop taking these drugs seven days before the prostate biopsy. Among the medications you need to avoid are warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, clopidogrel, enoxaparin (Lovenox), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). If you need to take pain medication during that week, ask your doctor for an alternative.
  • Tell your doctor about other health conditions. This includes bleeding problems and allergies to latex or to any medications, including anesthetics. Also tell your doctor about all medications and supplements, both over-the-counter and prescription, that you are taking.
  • Stop taking herbal and nutritional supplements. Certain herbal and nutritional supplements may also increase the risk of bleeding. These include vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba,  devil’s claw, papain, and dong quai. Talk to your doctor about any other supplements you may be taking.
  • Perform an enema. If your prostate biopsy will be done through the rectum (transrectal biopsy), you will need to have an enema at home the night before the procedure. An enema will relieve any pressure from your prostate gland and allow the clinician easier access to the prostate gland.
  • Take antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic for you to take before the prostate biopsy. An antibiotic is meant to help prevent infection, however, there is evidence that they can actually promote infection.
  • Stop eating and drinking. If your prostate biopsy will be done under general anesthesia, your doctor will let you know when you will need to stop eating and drinking before the procedure.
  • Think about taking some music and noise cancelling headphones with you to the doctors office. Studies have shown music can reduce anxiety and pain perception during the procedure.

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.