MRI Fusion Biopsy for the Detection of Prostate Cancer
The existing methods used to detect prostate cancer haven’t improved greatly over the past several years – until now. Traditional rectal exams, during which probing is done using the finger, only allow doctors to access part of the gland, which can lead to them missing the cancer until the tumor has grown to an advanced stage.
Progress in the diagnostic field has allowed for the development of an MRI/Ultrasound fusion biopsy procedure that is capable of detecting prostate cancer much sooner. This is the MRI fusion biopsy for prostate cancer detection. Using this technology enables our team to better serve our South Florida patients, detecting cancer sooner and being able to develop an aggressive treatment strategy.
This procedure begins with an MRI of the prostate which will be done a few weeks before the scheduled biopsy. During the MRI, images are taken of the prostate and the areas surrounding it. A special dye is injected intravenously at the end of the exam in order to improve imaging, which lasts around an hour.
After collecting the images, a three-dimensional picture of the entire prostate is able to be created, showing areas experiencing any abnormalities. Once analyzed and completed, these images are sent along with the patient for a biopsy.
During the fusion biopsy, one of our highly-trained urologists uses an ultrasound probe to visually analyze the prostate. Before the MRI fusion technique was available, these biopsies were performed by randomly collecting cores from predefined areas in the prostate. With this new technology however, the urologist is able to view the MRI images first before deciding on targeted areas that feature abnormalities. This greatly increases his/her ability to detect and test for cancer cells, instead of testing blindly.
While performing the biopsy procedure, the urologist will follow the MRI images displayed on a monitor, fusing them in real-time with the ultrasound images and allowing for guided navigation of the suspicious areas.
The standard sampling of twelve randomly selected areas will take place in addition to the targeted biopsy. It’s also important to note that, in the event that no suspicious areas were identified during the MRI, the standard twelve core prostate biopsy will still be performed, just to ensure that all bases are covered for each patient.
Your urologist at Uromedix will go over the specific routine that must be followed leading up to and after the MRI fusion biopsy exam. On the night before, the patient must take the prescribed antibiotic before going to sleep. The next morning- the morning of the exam you need to perform an over-the-counter enema, which cleans out the rectum and minimizes the risk of infection during the procedure.
Your urologist will talk with you about what you can and cannot eat before your exam, and you should also have a discussion about any medications you are taking. Once the exam is complete, you should continue to take the antibiotic regularly prescribed by the doctor, usually for a total of five days.
The MRI fusion biopsy for prostate cancer detection is an outpatient procedure, and the patient is welcome to drive home afterward. Results are typically ready within a few days and will be shared with you at your follow-up appointment.