• transrectal ultrasonography;
  • prostate;
  • biopsy;
  • sedation;
  • satisfaction

Objective To determine the acceptability and patient satisfaction of transrectal biopsy undertaken with the patient under sedation.

Patients and methods A retrospective questionnaire was sent to 100 patients who had undergone transrectal biopsy between January and August 1998. Levels of patient acceptability and satisfaction were assessed using visual analogue scales (VAS, with a maximum score of 10 being the least satisfactory or acceptable) and direct questions about the side-effects of the procedure. A subsequent prospective study was undertaken on 130 patients undergoing transrectal biopsy with sedation between January 1999 and January 2000.

Results The mean score for patient discomfort with sedation was 1.5, compared with 3.5 with no sedation. The overall satisfaction score improved from 3.1 to 0.9 with sedation. Complication rates were comparable, although slightly higher overall in the prospective group.

Conclusion Sedation can significantly reduce patient discomfort and make the transrectal biopsy a more satisfactory experience for the patient. This is particularly important in the proportion of men who need to be considered for repeat biopsies.