The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It is located immediately adjacent to the bladder, wrapped around the urethra (the tube that runs from the bladder through the penis and carries urine out of the body). The function of the prostate gland is to produce, store and secrete a slightly alkaline fluid, milky or white in appearance, that forms part of the semen. Swelling of the prostate gland or calcification within it can disrupt the normal flow of urine when empting the bladder.
The prostate ultrasound involves the use of high frequency sound wave to examine the structure of the prostate, and Doppler ultrasound to assess the blood flow within the gland. The size of the prostate gland will be measured and any focal areas within the gland detailed. The bladder, the flow of urine into the bladder from both kidneys, the volume of urine remaining in the bladder after it is emptied, and both kidneys are also assessed during this study.
You will not be required to change for the prostate ultrasound, but you will be asked during the examination to lower your trousers slightly, or to raise their shirt to the level of the chest.
A clear warm gel will be applied to your skin during the examination, this is to enable the ultrasound to penetrate the skin layer.
You will initially lie on your back at the beginning of the examination, while the prostate, bladder and flow of urine into the bladder is assessed. You will then be asked to go to the toilet and totally empty you bladder. Once you return you will again lie on your back while the emptied bladder is examined. The sonographer will then ask you to lie on your right and then left side, so that both kidneys can be assessed. This completes the study.