Prostate brachytherapy service
At The London Clinic, we provide prostate brachytherapy treatment for early-stage prostate cancer.
Iodine-125 prostate brachytherapy is a treatment for prostate cancer where a number of small radioactive seeds are implanted into your prostate.
These seeds stay in your prostate and provide a highly localised dose of radiation directly to the prostate, reducing the effect on to nearby healthy tissues.
Your consultant may recommend prostate brachytherapy if your prostate cancer is detected early on.
This highly convenient and minimally invasive technique can be carried out in a single session and allows you to quickly return to your normal daily life.
Our specialist team of renowned consultant urologists, anaesthetists and nurses work seamlessly as one to provide a world-leading service that puts you at the centre.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
Prostate brachytherapy works by placing around 60-90 radioactive iodine seeds into your prostate. This is done using ultrasound image guidance.
The number of seeds implanted depends on the size of the prostate.
Your consultant will carefully plan and monitor the placement of the seeds using advanced treatment planning software.
During the procedure, the seeds will be implanted one by one using a “Mick” applicator, or as a connected strand of seeds.
These seeds stay in your prostate and deliver a dose of radiation to the prostate which treats the cancer.
Over time the seeds will become less radioactive. Most of the radiation is released from the seeds during the first three months and after nine months they can be considered non-radioactive.
The amount of radiation left in the seeds is very small and has no effect on your body.
You may be offered prostate brachytherapy if you have low risk prostate cancer that has not spread.
If you have advanced prostate cancer, it’s unlikely you’ll be suitable for prostate brachytherapy, because the radiation doesn’t travel very far so the seeds will only treat the cancer inside your prostate.
Prostate brachytherapy is a highly convenient treatment option, with a quick recovery time. You’ll be able to get back to your daily activities shortly after the procedure.
Because the radiation is delivered locally to your prostate, your healthy surrounding tissue gets limited damage, which helps minimise any side effects.
Prostate brachytherapy can be carried out in a single session, so you can go home on the same day.
Brachytherapy does not require multiple sessions like some other treatment options, such as external beam radiotherapy.
Your time won’t be dictated by your cancer treatment.
Recovery time is short, so you’ll be able to return to your usual activities within a few days.
You’ll be able to go home as soon as you’ve recovered from the anaesthetic. This is usually the same day.
You may want to take it easy in the days following your prostate brachytherapy, and that’s ok.
You should avoid heavy lifting and only go back to work when you feel able.
Your consultant will talk to you in detail about what you need to do next and any steps you should take if a seed comes out.
We’ll have regular follow-ups with you to make sure you’re recovering as expected, and if there’s anything you’re worried about, you can contact your care team at any time.
The side effects you may experience with prostate brachytherapy can vary from person to person, and you may not get any side effects at all.
The more seeds you have implanted will make it more likely you notice side effects.
You may have blood in your urine or brown-coloured semen in the days following your prostate brachytherapy.
You may also have bruising and pain in the area surrounding your testicles and discomfort when you urinate.
It’s common to find it difficult to urinate (urine retention) and if you do, a catheter can be temporarily inserted to help drain the urine.
Most men find these side effects improve over time. This can be within a few weeks or sometimes months following your prostate brachytherapy.
You may experience bowel problems after prostate brachytherapy. Your prostate is close to your bowel so the treatment may lead to problems such as diarrhoea, passing more wind than usual, and needing to empty your bowels more often.
Again, these side effects often improve over time.
You may find it more difficult to get and keep an erection following your prostate brachytherapy.
You may also find you produce less semen, or no semen at all. This can be a temporary problem that improves over time, but it may also be a permanent problem.
Your consultant will talk to you in detail about what to expect long term and advice about managing any side effects.
Our expert urologists all have extensive training at performing prostate brachytherapy.
Before your treatment, your expert care team will guide you through your treatment and recovery plan and answer all your questions.
Your treatment will most likely be a day case procedure, but you may stay overnight.
Sometimes prostate brachytherapy is performed as a two stage procedure, with one visit to assess your prostate volume and a second visit to implant the seeds.
We offer extra touches, such as personalised food menus, to make your stay as comfortable and as much like home as possible.
You’ll have your own nurse, supported by an entire nursing team, who’ll help you get back on your feet quickly and safely.
You can also choose additional therapies to help you make the most of your recovery and reduce any discomfort, such as reiki and acupuncture.
Once you’re ready to leave The London Clinic, we’ll give you advice to follow once you’re home for a quick recovery.
We’ll keep in contact with you over the following weeks to ensure everything is going smoothly.