Low Dose Rate brachytherapy for the treatment of Prostate Cancer is carried out in theatre. Prior to the implant, the patient receives a general anesthetic.
Subsequently, small radioactive Iodine 125 seeds are inserted into the Prostate via the perineum and guided into the correct position with the aid of an ultrasound probe. Depending on the Prostate size, 50 to 100, I 125 seeds may be inserted.
Live treatment planning is performed in theatre to ensure the seeds are accurately positioned in the Prostate. The seeds decay slowly releasing a prescribed radiation dose to the treatment area. This technique allows a high dose of radiation to be delivered to the Prostate with limited damage to surrounding tissues The implants remain in place permanently, and become biologically inert (no longer useful) after a period of months.
The patient should be able to return to a normal level of activity immediately following the implant, however it is recommended that over the first two months post implant, closed contact with children and pregnant women for long periods of time should be avoided on radiation safety grounds. The Consultant Radiation Oncologist or the Radiation Protection Adviser can provide additional information with written instructions/precautions given to each patient leaving the hospital. A follow up CT scan to check the position of the seed is required one month after the implant.