Brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer is where small radioactive pellets or “seeds” are implanted into the prostate tissue to treat prostate cancer.
This treatment is set up after a consultation with a radiation oncologist. An appointment will be arranged typically by your urologist. You will see an informative video in the office, and the provider will come in to speak to you. They will examine all of your records and talk with you to screen you for the treatment.
If you’re appropriate for treatment, you’ll be escorted to see the brachytherapy tech to measure your prostate for the amount of radioactive seeds that you’ll need to treat your prostate.
A date will be set for you to come to the hospital for the outpatient procedure. You will be provided with several instructions, including prescriptions you’ll need to obtain before the procedure date. Your urologist will work with the radiation oncologist to optimize your treatment.
On the day of the procedure, you are brought to the operating room and general anesthesia is given to you so that you’re sleeping for the procedure. A Foley catheter is placed in your bladder through your penis to drain your urine. An ultrasonic wand is inserted into the rectum to monitor the placement of the seeds. A live X-ray machine (fluoroscopy) is also used to ensure proper seed placement.
The seeds are implanted into the prostate tissue through very small needles that go through the perineum. You’ll be taken to the recovery unit, which is where you’ll awake from the anesthesia. You’ll be given food and drink as well as pain medications should you require them.
The Foley catheter will be removed and after you can urinate on your own, you’ll be discharged to home. It’s important that you follow the post-operative instructions as well as the instructions presented to you at the radiation oncologist’s office before your procedure.