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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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    What is the purpose of a trans rectal prostate ultrasound?

I have a urology question. I went to see my doctor about a vibrating sensation in my penis and groin which I thought might be referral sensations coming from my nerve root irritation problems in my back and I wanted to rule out anything urological. The doctor checked my scrotum and said it felt normal and checked my prostate by a rectal digital exam and said the prostate felt normal. He gave me a requisition for a scrotum ultrasound which he said I could use if I still felt worried. At the last second, he also checked the box for a transrectal ultrasound (not for a biopsy) of the prostate because I told him that I had been urinating frequently that day. I did some research online and read that the transrectal prostate ultrasound is usually only done after an abnormal finding from a digital exam or a high PSA reading (PSA test was not done), or to guide the needle in a biopsy. It sounds like this type of prostate ultrasound is not a common screening method. I am worried about the transrectal ultrasound of my prostate is unnecessary in my case and the possibility of false positive results which I have heard are common with the prostate. What do you think would be the reason for my doctor ordering that transrectal prostate ultrasound? What are the general purposes, pros and cons, and risks of having a prostate ultrasound? I would appreciate your response as I am very conflicted about whether to have that prostate ultrasound done. Thanks.
Mon, 18 Aug 2014
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Pathologist and Microbiologist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to HCM,
Trans-rectal prostatic ultrasound is an investigation in which an ultrasound probe is introduced in to the rectum and images of the prostate gland is taken.
The investigations is safe and is similar to digital examination.
The indication for trans-rectal ultrasound is presence of history of frequent urination.
Frequent urination can occur in prostatic enlargement.
The investigations is being done to rule out any enlargement too small to be detected by digital examination.
So, do not woory and get the investigation done.

Thanks and take care
Dr Shailja P Wahal
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