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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Prostate Seed Brachytherapy

What are the side effects?

At first, you may experience some slight bruising or soreness in the implant area, or blood in the urine. These symptoms will usually get better in a few days. Drinking lots of fluids helps. Use an icepack 10-15 mins at a time 4-5 times daily for the first two days

Other common side effects include frequent urination, burning with urination, a sense of urgency or a decrease in the force of the urinary stream. These symptoms are usually at their worst about 2 to 4 weeks after the implant, and are sometimes so severe that a catheter has to be inserted to allow you to pass urine. Very occasionally, the catheter is needed for a long period of time.

These symptoms will usually decrease as the seeds lose their strength, but may be present to some degree for six to twelve months after the implant. Drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeine-containing drinks may help to relieve these symptoms. If they are bothersome, medications will be prescribed.

Minor rectal discomfort sometimes occurs after the implant, but serious rectal problems or urinary incontinence are both very rare.

Some men experience impotence after an implant. Pain or discomfort on ejaculation is common during the first few weeks, and there may also be traces of blood in the semen. This sometimes can last quite a while. The quantity of semen may decrease over time, and it may become more “sticky”. This will not affect sexual pleasure.

Seeds very rarely get into the bloodstream and travel to the lung. There is no evidence that this is dangerous to health.