Posted 2/5/2013 6:09 PM (GMT -6)
I had a prostate biopsy yesterday. After reading a LOT on various forums and websites, I wasn't sure what to expect. Here's what actually happened.
I had a 12-core transrectal biopsy. There was NO pain at all during the procedure. Even the needle injecting the Lidocaine didn't hurt. I could feel the ultrasound probe going in, and felt a little pressure from the 12 spring-loaded "core samplers", but no pain whatsoever.
One thing I do want to mention, because I'd not read about this, although the nurse told me that it's common: about an hour after the procedure, I passed out. I was at home, and luckily my wife was there to catch me. When I came to, I felt cold and nauseated. I crawled into bed and felt lousy for about four hours. By that time the Lidocaine had worn off and I experienced soreness in my prostate. After four hours, I felt completely normal, with no rectal/prostate pain.
The nurse told me that I had suffered "vasovagal syncope" (pronounced, "SYN-co-pee"). It's a drop in blood pressure that causes fainting (syncope). It's apparently common, but usually happens in the doctor's office. It can be triggered by a variety of things, including digital rectal procedures. (There's a good article about it on Wikipedia.)
I'm a little surprised that neither the urologist nor his nurse mentioned the possibility to me, because I had told them that I take a blood pressure medication, which I think may have contributed to the problem. In any case, it was minor. The biggest risk in these types of episodes, of course, is falling and hitting one's head. Luckily, I could tell that I was about to pass out, and called to my wife, so she was there when I lost consciousness.
I'll receive the results later this week. The urologist said that, based on what the ultrasound showed (basically, nothing but normal tissue), if there's any cancer it's a very small and contained area. In the meantime, I have the usual blood in urine, stool and ejaculate, but it's light to moderate and of no concern.
Bottom line (no pun intended), the biopsy itself was a non-event. I have no pain at all. I'm convinced that one's attitude plays a major role in how one gets through it. Guys, get over someone probing your ass. If your PSA has been rising and your physician recommends a biopsy, I'd say go for it. At least you'll have information that you didn't have before.