Get answers to your Prostate Brachytherapy questions.
Implant therapy - prostate cancer; Radioactive seed placement; Internal radiation therapy - prostate
Brachytherapy is a procedure to implant radioactive "seeds" into the prostate gland to kill prostate cancer cells. Implants may be short-term or permanent. They may give off high or low amounts of radiation.
Brachytherapy takes 30 minutes or more, depending on the type of therapy you have. Before the procedure, you will be given medicine so that you do not feel pain. You may receive:
After you receive anesthesia:
Types of brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is often used for men with smaller prostate cancer that is found early and is slow-growing. Brachytherapy has fewer complications and side effects than standard radiation therapy. You will also need fewer visits with the doctor.
Risks for any anesthesia are:
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for this procedure are:
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
Before this procedure:
On the day of the procedure:
After an outpatient therapy procedure, you can return home as soon as the anesthesia wears off. Very rarely, you will need to spend 1 to 2 days in the hospital.
If you have a permanent implant, your doctor may tell you to limit the amount of time you spend around children and women who are pregnant for a while after the procedure. After a few weeks to months, the radiation is gone and will not cause any harm. Because of this, there is no need to take out the seeds.
You may be sleepy and have some mild pain and tenderness after the procedure. If you stay in the hospital, your visitors will need to follow special radiation safety precautions.
Most people remain cancer-free or have good control of their cancer for many years after this treatment. Some urinary and rectal symptoms may last for months.
D'Amico AV, Crook J, Beard CJ, DeWeese TL, Hurwitz M, Kaplan I. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 100.
Nelson WG, Carter HB. DeWeese TL, Eisenberger MA. Prostate cancer. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKena WG, eds. Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 88.
Wilt TJ, MacDonald R, et al. Systematic review: comparative effectiveness and harms of treatments for clinically localized prostate cancer. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:435-448.
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