Five Tips for a Safe Endocavity Biopsy
An endocavity biopsy can be of two types: transrectal (prostate biopsy) and transvaginal (ovarian biopsy). When performing either of these procedures, you are dealing with vital organs in a sterile environment (as your needle will be in contact with multiple body fluids including blood). Hence the five tips to make sure your patient is safe during and after the biopsy.
Use Sterile Gel
We've covered this topic already here
, but using sterile gel
for endocavity exams is critical. In fact, the sterile gel is essential for two reasons:
- It does not come contaminated from the factory
- You don't get to contaminate it when refilling your bottles as it is a single-use packet.
Use a Sterile Probe Cover
It is the same principle with the probe covers
. Use a sterile one so you don't put your patient at risk with a previously-contaminated cover. Sterile covers are individually packaged, regardless of their size or material.
They can be either latex or latex-free and usually come with elastic bands.
Use a Needle Guide
If you need to be fast and accurate during your biopsies (and we're sure you do), then you need to use a needle guide
. They will ensure that your needle is right on track and hit the target area with precision. As a result, it reduces the risks of hitting unwanted structures, therefore decreasing the complication rate.
You can opt for a disposable or a reusable needle guide
. To know the main differences, be sure to check our in-depth comparison
. As per the benefits for endocavity biopsies, disposable guides can come in a kit that includes a sterile gel packet and a sterile cover. This is an excellent solution for the first three points of this article.
Think "Infection Control"
One step that one must not neglect is the cleaning and disinfection of your material after the biopsy. That includes the ultrasound transducer, the needle guide, and the biopsy gun if they are reusable.
The reusable guides and guns must go through high-level disinfection or sterilization. They can be either soaked or autoclaved. They are indeed metal instruments that are not heat-sensitive. But prior to disinfection, they must be thoroughly cleaned to remove all the soil that may interfere with the disinfection.
The transducer needs to undergo a high-level disinfection too. For more details on how to clean your ultrasound probe, please visit our disinfection and cleaning guidelines
Standardize the process throughout your practice/facility
It is much easier to enforce rules and regulations when they the same for everyone in the facility. That is why we recommend standardizing the first four steps. It needs to be a reflex for your staff to use sterile gel, a sterile cover, a needle guide and to follow a proper cleaning and disinfection protocol. It will help reduce malpractices, and will also improve your facility's workflow.
For instance, you can implement checklists. They are proven to reduce mistakes and oversights in operating rooms and plane cockpits. Same applies for your endocavity biopsy.
Separately, these measures are not enough to ensure a 100% safe endocavity biopsy. However, put together, these layers can drastically reduce the risks of complications, infections, and malpractices.