Prostate brachytherapy service
A targeted form of radiotherapy for prostate cancer, delivered by permanent implantation of tiny radioactive seeds. We offer a range of first-class treatment options for prostate cancer, as well as exceptional personal care to all our patients.
Prostate brachytherapy is a type of radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer. Tiny radioactive seeds are implanted directly into the prostate gland.
Over a few months, the seeds release a low dose of radiation directly into the prostate. As the treatment is targeted directly at the prostate gland, the risk of side effects to surrounding tissue and organs is reduced. The levels of radiation gradually reduce over time so there is no need to remove the seeds at the end of the treatment.
Prostate brachytherapy is suitable for early-stage prostate cancer that has not spread outside of the prostate gland. It is an alternative to other treatments including standard radiotherapy and surgery and many patients find prostate brachytherapy a convenient option.
All our care and support is provided in the first-class environments of The London Clinic, which feature state-of-the-art technology and the latest equipment.
An expert multidisciplinary team will also support you from your first consultation, during your treatment and throughout your recovery.
Prostate brachytherapy is given over two stages or it may be possible to combine the stages to a single hospital visit
In the first stage, the size of the prostate is assessed to determine the number of seeds required. This can be carried out under spinal or general anaesthetic.
In the second stage, the seeds are implanted under general anaesthetic.
At London Urologica, our team of experts will offer you full support as you recover from your procedure. An advantage of prostate brachytherapy is that the treatment can be carried out over just one or two hospital visits, which is fewer than with standard radiotherapy.
You will be able to go home once you have recovered from the anaesthetic. This may be the same day as the procedure or you may need to spend one or two nights in hospital.
You should not drive for 24 hours after the anaesthetic. You should be able to return to your normal activities and work after a few days or as soon as you feel able to.
Due to the radiation, you will need to take precautions and avoid spending time close to pregnant women or young children for a couple of months after your treatment.
You should also avoid fathering a child for one year after treatment. You should use a condom for the first couple of months after brachytherapy as it is possible for a seed to be passed out during ejaculation, although this is rare.
At London Urologica we will continue to support you in the months and years after your treatment.
You will need to have a follow-up CT or MRI scan four to six weeks after the procedure to check the position of the seeds. We will monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and check your PSA level regularly.
Our team of experts will also be on hand to provide advice and any necessary treatment to help you manage any side effects.
As with all radiotherapy, you may experience side effects with prostate brachytherapy. These can include:
• Bruising in your pelvic area and between your legs
• Blood in your urine or semen
• Urinary issues such as leaking urine, pain on passing urine or needing to urinate more often
These side effects usually improve over a few weeks. Some side effects of brachytherapy develop some months after treatment. These may include tiredness, problems passing urine and bowel issues such as diarrhoea or bleeding.
Some men may experience sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction and loss of desire. If you experience any of these side effects, our team of experts will be able to support you with treatment options and advice.