Prostate Brachytherapy (Prostate Seed Implant)

Targeted Internal Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Prostate brachytherapy is a minimally invasive procedure at Loyola Medicine that uses radioactive prostate “seeds” to treat prostate cancer. It delivers a high dose of radiation to your tumor from inside your body, which limits radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding your prostate.

Brachytherapy can be given in several ways. At Loyola, we most often use permanent prostate brachytherapy.  This involves placing radioactive seeds in the prostate gland permanently, where they slowly release radiation.  This treatment is very effective in controlling tumors in most patients, and the chance of serious complications is much lower than for patients who have radical surgery.

Why Choose Loyola Medicine for Prostate Brachytherapy?

Loyola’s radiation oncologists perform a large number of prostate brachytherapy procedures annually.  This means we have extensive experience using this cancer treatment to remove tumors, reduce cancer symptoms and give you the best possible outcomes.

 

What to Expect with Prostate Brachytherapy

In a prostate brachytherapy procedure, a set of hollow needles, guided by ultrasound, is used to permanently implant a large number of radioactive seeds into the prostate. The radiation dosage and the number of seeds required are carefully planned in advance. 

The radioactive seeds are approximately the size of grains of rice and will give off radiation over a few weeks or months, depending on your treatment.

Prostate Brachytherapy Side Effects

Prostate brachytherapy side effects are minimal, and tend to be localized to the treatment area. Potential side effects of prostate brachytherapy include:

  • Blood in stool or urine
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Narrowing of urethra