The planning study

This is used to plan your treatment and is sometimes called a volume study.

A few weeks before the implant, we will ask you to come to the hospital to have a trans-rectal ultrasound scan as a day case.

You will be given an enema to clear out the lower part of your bowel which is essential so that we can take high quality ultrasound images. Your implant will be planned on these images. You will have a short general anaesthetic whilst an ultrasound probe is placed in your rectum to visualise the prostate gland. A catheter is also inserted into your bladder.

This scan is also the final check that a seed implant is an appropriate treatment for you. This is because it is only at this stage that we can accurately measure the volume of the prostate gland, and its position in relation to the bones in your pelvis.

Sometimes it may become apparent that the gland is too large [more than 60cc] to proceed to implant straight away. In this case your doctor may recommend a 3-6 month course of hormone treatment to shrink the prostate before the implant. You would then have a repeat planning study about 3-6 months later.

Very occasionally the doctor can see that, even if the gland size is small, an implant would be technically impossible because of the position of the pelvic bones in relation to the prostate gland. Prostate brachytherapy would then not be an appropriate treatment for your early stage disease. We would discuss other options fully with you.

When you have recovered from the anaesthetic, you may go home, although you should not drive for 24 hours after the procedure. Before you leave we will give you a date to come back for your implant. This is usually 2-6 weeks later.

At this time we advise anyone taking asprin daily or other anti-coagulants, to stop taking this until after their implant. Continuing these could cause the prostate gland to bleed excessively at the time of implant which could compromise the success of the treatment.
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