Men’s Infection Risk Plunges under Prostate-Biopsy Method Adopted by Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group in The Woodlands

By: Vanessa Astros
| Published 06/14/2021


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Urologists at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group in The Woodlands completed their first prostate biopsy using the PrecisionPoint™ Transperineal Access System (PPTAS), a new approach that virtually eliminates transrectal-induced bacteria and optimizes cancer detection.

With the conventional method to biopsy the prostate, physicians pass the biopsy needle through the rectal wall to reach the prostate, which increases the risk of infectious complications, such as urinary tract infection (UTI), prostatitis, epididymitis, orchitis, bacteremia, and sepsis. The new approach represents major progress in eliminating the risk of infection caused by multiple needle sticks passing through the rectum as the biopsy needle is inserted in the perineum, the area of skin that lies just below the scrotum.

“About 2 to 6 percent of traditional prostate biopsies can lead to infection, with as many as 4 percent of patients enduring severe, whole-body infections that require hospitalization,” said Dr. Christopher Kosarek, a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group urologist leading the PrecisionPoint™ rollout for the health system. “The PPTAS drops that risk to near zero, research shows.”

False-negative cancer diagnosis is also a major concern seen with the traditional transrectal biopsy method. “Samples gathered through this revolutionary approach have been shown to have a higher cancer-detection rate in those patients who actually have cancer,” said Dr. Kosarek. 'Sometimes the conventional biopsies miss cancers, specifically those hard to reach in the anterior portion of the prostate gland, which is inaccessible with the other approach. This can be up to 15 percent of cancers.'

Few health providers in the Houston area have adopted PPTAS, which can be performed in the office setting under local anesthesia. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group urologists, Drs. Salim Cheriyan and Christopher Kosarek, are the only medical providers in North Houston offering the novel biopsy method, which revolutionizes the logistics of retrieving prostate tissue samples. The Woodlands Medical Group’s first prostate biopsy employing the transperineal system was successfully performed on June 11, 2021.

“It’s clear why Perineologic won a Medical Design Excellence Award for this new system,” Dr. Kosarek added, noting that it eliminates the need for preventive antibiotics and reduces the number of punctures needed to complete a biopsy. “This is a game-changer for men and can put their minds at ease. Our tireless urology team is excited to provide high-value care utilizing this new technology.”

Maryland-based medical device company Perineologic developed and refined PPTAS over four years, committed to reducing infection risks and missed cancers as active surveillance in prostate-cancer patients gains wider acceptance in the medical community.

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