Brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer is where small radioactive pellets or “seeds” are implanted into the prostate tissue.
This treatment is set up after a consultation with a radiation oncologist. An appointment usually will be arranged by your urologist.
If you’re appropriate for treatment, the brachytherapy will 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. They will give you 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, and pain medicine if you need it.
The Foley catheter will be removed and after you can urinate on your own, you’ll be discharged to home. You must follow the post-operative instructions and the instructions given to you at the radiation oncologist’s office.