“Inconveniences” of prostate biopsy

None of the physicians I spoke to chose to mention a recovery period for the biopsy or what they euphemistically refer to as side effects of “inconvenience”. These are not health-threatening, simply unpleasant.

It was only when I brought up a 2008 study in the journal Urology that they admitted that one month after biopsy, 41% of men experienced erectile dysfunction, and six months later, 15% did. Other side effects of “inconvenience” included diarrhea, haemorrhoids, gastrointestinal distress and blood in semen that can last for several months.

Two of the physicians sheepishly admitted that they deliberately withhold this information. As one put it, “We don’t mention these complications to patients because they might be discouraged from getting the biopsy, which is a very important procedure for the patient to have.” This is the kind of paternalism that many of us dislike from doctors and it also violates the core principle of informed consent.

Daniel Levitin, The Organized Mind


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s