What happens during the procedure?
The entire procedure takes about 90 minutes. Most patients go home the same day.
A radiation oncologist and urologist perform the procedure. Both doctors are actively involved in all aspects of the implantation, from the planning to the post-operative care. During the procedure, the urologist provides ultrasound guidance and the radiation oncologist places the radioactive seeds. The prostate ultrasound and treatment planning are both done at the same time as implantation of the radioactive seeds.
- After general or spinal anesthesia, the legs are elevated and padded very carefully.
- The ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum and is used to take pictures of the prostate. The probe remains in place throughout the procedure.
- The ultrasound images are used to generate an individualized treatment plan. Then the radioactive seeds are loaded into the designated number of needles.
- In a specific order, each needle is inserted through the skin in the perineum (the area between the base of the scrotum and the anus) and into the prostate using continuous ultrasound guidance. Once accurate needle placement is confirmed, the seeds in that needle are released. This process is continued until all of the radioactive seeds have been implanted. No surgical incision or cutting is necessary.
- If there is some blood in the urine, a catheter might be placed into the bladder for a short period of time to insure proper drainage. All patients are taught how to catheterize themselves at home to drain urine from the bladder should that be necessary.