What is the Hospitalization Rate After A Prostate Biopsy?

Men who are considering a prostate biopsy may take comfort in the results of a new study which showed the hospitalization rate is low after prostate biopsy–less than 1%. The study was presented as a poster at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 23, 2012.

Prostate biopsy is a test that involves the removal of tiny tissue samples from the prostate, which are then examined under a microscope by a pathologist to identify any signs of cancer. It is normal for men to experience some minor bleeding after a prostate biopsy and the risk of infection and other complications is low. Several large studies, however, have noted a rise in hospitalizations related to infections following prostate biopsy.

The new study involved 10,474 prostate biopsies which were performed from 1993 to 2011 as part of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer. Men in the study were given antibiotics two hours before and four hours after their prostate biopsy procedure, and additional antibiotics were given to high-risk patients.

Fever was noted in 4.2% of cases (392 of 9,241 reported), and most were managed on an outpatient basis. Diabetes and an enlarged prostate were significantly associated with an increased risk of developing fever after prostate biopsy.

Hospitalization was reported in 0.8% of cases (78 of 9,198), and infection was the main reason men entered the hospital (81.8%). Although the frequency of hospitalization after prostate biopsy significantly increased over time, the rate of hospitalization following prostate biopsy was still low, and the authors concluded that it “should not dissuade healthy men who would benefit from early prostate cancer diagnosis from undergoing biopsy when clinically indicated.”

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.