How the 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy Works

The 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy – What You Can Expect

If your urologist determines that you are a good candidate for the 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy, there are several steps to this diagnostic procedure. Here is what you can expect:


  • You will be scheduled for an MRI with our radiology partner.

  • On the day of your scheduled appointment, you will undergo an MRI of the prostate gland utilizing state-of-the-art computer software. The MRI is then processed. 

  • Radiologists who are specially trained in this technology review the images, identify suspicious lesions and build a 3D image of the prostate and each lesion, providing your urologist with this powerful image.

  • You will then be scheduled for a separate appointment where your 3D ultrasound and biopsy will be performed in one of Chesapeake Urology’s Summit Ambulatory Surgical Centers.

The 3D Ultrasound and Prostate Biopsy

  • On the day of your scheduled appointment, one of Chesapeake Urology’s specially-trained urologists will perform the 3D ultrasound to build a live image of your prostate.

  • Once the image of the prostate is built, your urologist will overlay or merge your previous MRI onto the live 3D ultrasound image. This creates an enhanced 3D map of the prostate for dramatically improved visualization of the gland, allowing your urologist to determine the exact location of potential tumors.

  • You will be given either local anesthesia, minimal sedation, or IV sedation for your utmost comfort.

  • Each biopsy track is memorized by the computer software so that your urologist can retrace his or her steps if a second biopsy is necessary in a particular location.  Additional biopsies may also be taken in order to map the entire prostate gland.

  • You should receive the results of your biopsy and subsequent treatment plan from your urologist in one week.

3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy vs. 2D Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS)-Guided Biopsy

Currently, the standard diagnostic tool for detecting prostate cancer is 2D (two dimensional) Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS)-Guided biopsy. This involves:

  • A small probe is inserted into the rectum to obtain images of the prostate.

  • A biopsy needle is then inserted into the probe to obtain random tissue samples of the prostate gland in order to determine the presence of prostate cancer cells.

3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy

  • A specially trained urologist overlays 3D MRI and 3D ultrasound images in order to get a precise picture and location of suspicious areas of the prostate (also known as “targets”).

  • Targeted biopsies of the suspicious areas are then performed.

  • Uniform random biopsies of other areas of the prostate may also be performed, depending upon the clinical circumstances.

  • The computer creates a record of the exact location of each biopsy, which are then stored and available for future use, if necessary.


Studies show that computer-assisted 3D MRI/ultrasound Fusion Biopsy provides a more precise way to identify clinically significant prostate cancers.  This allows Chesapeake Urology patients access to unique technology that will significantly improve their clinical outcomes.


Benefits of the 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy System 

  • Identifies and locates hidden tumors missed by traditional biopsies, especially localized prostate tumors that can be difficult to image.

  • Enhances visualization of tumors within the prostate, detailing exact size and location of suspicious tissue and tumors.

  • 3D map of the prostate and tumor allows for targeted biopsies and improved sampling for a more accurate diagnosis.

  • Fusion of live 3D Ultrasound and MRI images provides more accurate staging and diagnosis, as well as a more targeted, individualized prostate cancer treatment and management plan.   

  • Memory:  The system provides the ability to retrieve a record of previous biopsy sites to allow the urologist to go back to the exact area of a previous biopsy site.


Chesapeake Urology’s specially-trained urologists understand the need for the most accurate diagnosis to create an individualized treatment plan for men with prostate cancer.  Talk to your doctor about the 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy to see if you are a candidate for this advanced diagnostic procedure.