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How is a radioactive seed implant performed to treat prostate cancer?

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The procedure is performed as follows:

  • 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 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 the radioactive seeds have been implanted. No surgical incision or cutting is necessary. For a high dose rate, once the needle placements are confirmed, they are filled with a radioactive material. After a period of minutes both the needles and the radioactive material are removed.
  • The urologist inserts a tube with a camera called a cystoscope through the penis and into the bladder. If he or she detects any loose radioactive seeds within the urethra or bladder, they are removed.
  • If some blood is in the urine, the urologist may place a catheter into the bladder for a short period of time to ensure proper drainage. All patients are instructed how to drain urine from the bladder, if necessary.

SOURCES: 

American Brachytherapy Association. 

American Cancer Society. 

American Urological Association.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on October 22, 2017

SOURCES: 

American Brachytherapy Association. 

American Cancer Society. 

American Urological Association.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on October 22, 2017

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What are the results from a radioactive seed implant for prostate cancer?

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