Seed Implantation: Things You Should Know
If you choose seed implantation, you should consider the following:
- Some patients may experience burning or discomfort when urinating which may last for a few days to several weeks.
- Some patients may experience some urinary frequency and urgency. There are medications to decrease these side effects. When the swelling subsides, so do the side effects, usually within 2 months.
- The best results occur when an ultrasound machine is used to depict a three-dimensional image of the prostate. There is no long-term incontinence.
- Brachytherapy is usually less costly than radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation.
- A procedure that combines ultrasound and fluoroscopy is used to achieve a satisfactory distribution of seeds.
- An interactive computer and a CT scan are used to assure accurate seed placement and distribution, which is critical to the success of the treatment.
- This procedure can be repeated.
- Brachytherapy is sometimes accompanied be external beam radiation, combination hormonal therapy, or both.
- The procedure does not require a hospital stay. You are discharged the day of implantation.
- It does not require general anesthesia.
- Patients who have Stage A and B prostate cancer and who have small tumors are the best candidates. Because they are placed at the site of the cancer, the seeds can deliver two or three times more concentrated radiation to the prostate gland than can external beam radiation, which must use a lower dose because it also affects healthy tissue.