An ultrasound of the prostate gland will help to assess the state of health of a man – a diagnostic method that is useful at any age. The male genitourinary system is especially important, the well-being and quality of intimate life, which means self-confidence and family relationships, depend on its health.
The procedure is mandatory in the event of the appearance of alarming symptoms in the pelvic area and is recommended for general prevention of the development of diseases, helps to identify them in the early stages.
When is an ultrasound of the prostate prescribed?
Ultrasound diagnostics of the prostate is a visual, painless and informative way to assess the presence of pathologies in the tissues of the organ. Ultrasonic waves are able to pass through tissues and reflect on them in different ways, which will make it possible to distinguish healthy areas from those damaged by the disease. Seen changes in the prostate gland doctor-sonologist enters into the protocol of diagnostics and issues a conclusion. The attending physician deciphers it and establishes a diagnosis.
An ultrasound scan is recommended for those men who have even slight signs of prostatitis. Usually this:
- urination disorders;
- decreased erection and deterioration of potency;
- the appearance of discharge from the urethra.
Prostate pathologies develop both in middle and young age, it is recommended to be examined for all men who have reached the age of 35.
Prophylactic passage of ultrasound of the scrotum will reveal such disorders in the work of the genitourinary organs:
- erectile dysfunction;
- inflammation of the glandular organ (acute, chronic, purulent, congestive, etc.);
- bladder damage;
- prostate adenoma;
- malignant processes.
Ultrasound of the prostate is recommended for diagnosing infertility.
Direct indication – deviations in the clinical analysis for PSA ( prostate -specific agent), if it shows an excess of tumor markers in the patient’s blood.
The ultrasound procedure will determine the main indicators:
- the size of the prostate;
- the state of its contours;
- echostructure .
Reveal pathological changes:
- the presence of stones in the lumen of the organ and / or its tissues;
- the development of neoplasms and their nature (tumors, including those with nodular formations, cysts, cancer);
- circulatory disorders;
- changing the main parameters;
- the presence of inflammatory processes.
Types of ultrasound diagnostics of the prostate gland
Before going for an examination, the patient needs to learn how the prostate ultrasound procedure is performed and how to prepare for it. Carrying out will depend on the general state of health of the patient and the technical capabilities of the clinic.
The way could be:
|transrectal||The transducer is inserted through the rectum, the rectal method may be called TRUS in some clinics|
|transabdominal||Determination of possible pathologies is carried out through the walls of the abdominal cavity|
|transurethral||Additionally , diagnostics can be carried out through the urethra|
The most informative is ultrasound, which is performed through the anus, the least effective is the abdominal method. Doctors recommend a comprehensive study – performing both types of diagnostics at once.
Knowing how an ultrasound of the prostate is done is important in order to prepare for it, because. the result of diagnostics largely depends on this.
For each method, the preparation is different:
|Rectal method||Requires bowel cleansing. If the ultrasound is scheduled for the first half of the day, you need to drink a laxative the evening before, you can’t have breakfast in the morning – just drink water. If this is not possible, an enema is given a couple of hours before the procedure.|
|Abdominal method||Requires the bladder to be filled with fluid. Direct recommendation – drink as much liquid as possible 1-1.5 before going to the clinic|
|Examination through the urethra||A rather painful procedure, therefore, requires the use of painkillers and / or local anesthetics|
Preparation for any prostate ultrasound also includes:
- Compliance with the diet 3-4 days before the procedure. Give up foods that increase intestinal motility and gas formation – legumes, sweet fruits, dairy dishes, flour products. It is forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages and carbonated water. This will help the natural emptying and then you will not have to drink a laxative.
- If you can’t make an enema, you can use medications – microclysters that work within 15 minutes after administration.
- Sex life. Some patients prepare so thoroughly for an ultrasound of the prostate gland that they refuse to have sex on the eve of the diagnosis. Doctors do not recommend doing this, because. abstinence has never been good for the state of the prostate, but only provoked its pathology. The exception is situations where intimacy is prohibited for health reasons.
How is the ultrasound procedure performed?
Regardless of how a man is given an ultrasound of his prostate, the procedure will last no more than 10 minutes. The main rule of the procedure is to relax as much as possible in order to facilitate the work of the sonologist and reduce the level of discomfort for yourself.
- With TRUS, the patient lies on his side, pulls his knees to his stomach.
- The doctor inserts a sensor into the anus, the diameter of which does not exceed 10 mm, and the length is 50-70 mm.
- A man may feel some manifestations of discomfort, but there is no pain.
- The transabdominal method is completely painless.
- First, the doctor applies a special gel to the skin of the abdomen, then examines the pelvic area with a sensor.
- Such an ultrasound can be done in cases where TRUS is impossible or does not give a complete picture of the patient’s state of health.
The advantage of such a diagnosis is that it also allows you to assess the condition of the scrotum organs: are the penis and testicles healthy, are there any fibrous tissue in them, and additional parameters. However, another procedure will allow to study in detail their condition (spermian cords, vesicles, ducts) – directly ultrasound of the scrotum.
The transurethral method is practically not used today, when using it, the field of study is limited, and the patient experiences pain. Diagnostics can only show inflammatory processes in the urethra, and with some diagnoses, it is important for the doctor to assess the condition of the anterior urethra.
Contraindications for ultrasound
Ultrasound examination of the prostate gland has practically no restrictions for conducting, non-invasively, available. Contraindications to its implementation may be:
- violation of the level of blood clotting;
- exacerbation of inflammatory processes in the urethra (for the transurethral type);
- anal fissures;
- recent surgery in the area being examined.
If both the preparation for the ultrasound and the examination of the prostate itself are carried out correctly, the conclusion of the examination will reflect the most accurate condition of the prostate. The transcript of the protocol is carried out by the attending urologist, according to its results, drug treatment is prescribed, and in severe cases, a medical examination of the patient and surgical intervention.
Values within normal limits
A normal, healthy organ will have the following parameters in the ultrasound protocol:
- shape – round, triangular;
- edges are smooth;
- length – 24-40 mm;
- width – 30-45 mm;
- thickness – 15-25 mm;
- density is the norm;
- changes in blood vessels are not visualized.
Deviations from the norm
The following lines in the conclusion will tell about the presence of pathologies:
- the size of the prostate is enlarged, there are inclusions up to 7 mm in size – prostatic hyperplasia (PHP);
- increased echogenicity – inflammation in a chronic form;
- reduced echogenicity – acute prostatitis;
- uneven contours, enlarged lymph nodes – the presence of a neoplasm;
- hypoechogenicity – a sign of the presence of calculi or cystic formations;
Another important parameter is the residual volume of urine in the bladder, it indicates an obstacle to its outflow. The rest of the urine is observed in all pathologies of the glandular organ, including sclerosis and prostate abscess.
What can be detected with an ultrasound of the prostate
In addition to prostatitis and prostate adenoma, ultrasound examination can show the presence of such pathological changes:
- adenoma – a neoplasm of a benign nature, possibly with the presence of nodular phenomena;
- cancer is a malignant tumor that requires mandatory surgical treatment, because threatens to involve healthy tissues of neighboring organs in the pathological process;
- cysts – hollow formations filled with fluid;
- fibrosis is a condition in which there is scarring of the tissues affected by inflammation.
On numerous forums on the Internet there are reviews of men who talk about rectal ultrasound as an unpleasant and even painful procedure. However, such an opinion is not always true; such feelings are caused, rather, by a psychological rejection of the situation and the inability to relax. Pain is possible only in one case – if a biopsy is also performed during the ultrasound. This is the pinching off of prostate tissue in case of suspicion of an ongoing malignant process in it.
The men also confirm that the examination helped them to identify dysfunctions in the pelvic organs, which required mandatory treatment. This means that the procedure helped to preserve health, and possibly life.