Brachytherapy (also known as 'seed implantation') is a minimally invasive procedure for treating prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate gland. Using ultrasound image guidance, radioactive seeds are placed into the prostate via needles inserted through the perineum (skin just behind the scrotum). Brachytherapy has increased in popularity over recent years due to its effectiveness and relative convenience.
Before the seeds are implanted, the patient receives anesthesia. Needles containing the seeds are then inserted through the skin of the perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus) using ultrasound guidance. The seeds remain in the prostate, where the radioactive material beams localized radiation for a number of months to destroy the prostate cancer.
Seed implantation is an effective treatment for men with localized prostate cancer. The procedure requires no surgical incision and offers men a short recovery time.
Brachytherapy takes between two to two-and-a-half hours. Brachytherapy can be an outpatient procedure, and most men go home the same day as their treatment. Additionally, most men can return to their normal activities a few days after treatment.
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