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New prostate biopsy technique reduces risk of infection

Oleg Shapiro, MD, left, and Timothy Byler, MD (photo by Jim Howe)

Oleg Shapiro, MD, left, and Timothy Byler, MD (photo by Jim Howe)

One risk of prostate biopsy has been infection, but a new way of obtaining prostate tissue to test for cancer greatly reduces that risk, say Upstate urologists Oleg Shapiro, MD, and Timothy Byler, MD. Biopsies have been done using a probe that is inserted into the rectum. Then a needle is passed through the rectal wall and into the prostate. Infection can occur if bacteria from the patient's rectum get into the prostate. Now, however, urologists at Upstate University Hospital are providing transperineal biopsies, in which a needle is inserted into the prostate through the perineum, beneath the scrotum. "We're able to biopsy more extensively with the transperineal biopsy," Byler explains. Shapiro notes that advances in medical imaging make this technique possible.

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