Patients and Care Givers  |  Types of Cancer  |  Prostate  |  Treatment Options

Prostate Seed Brachytherapy

Who Performs Prostate Seed Brachytherapy?

Prostate brachytherapy is performed by a radiation oncologist, a doctor who specializes in the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer. The Radiation Oncologist works with a Urologist, a doctor that specializes in treating issues of the urinary system, and a team of healthcare professionals, including nurses and anesthesiologists. This team ensures the patient’s safety and comfort during the procedure.

During and After the Procedure

The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and usually takes about 30 minutes to complete, sometimes longer. While under anesthesia, an ultrasonic probe is inserted into the rectum to give the doctor a live picture of the prostate during the procedure. Very thin needles are inserted into the area of skin between the rectum and scrotum and the seeds are inserted through the needles into the treatment site. The seeds are very small in size, comparable to a grain of rice. The radioactive seed is then placed into the prostate through the needle. Once all the seeds have been implanted, the needle is removed, the clinician will confirm their location with a final x-ray.

After the procedure, the patient will need to remain in the hospital for a couple of hours for observation until the effects of anesthesia have worn off and can be discharged the same day.

(It was an) outpatient procedure – in at 6AM and out by 11AM. I did not feel burdened by the treatment." David

They may experience some discomfort or minimal pain for a few days, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Most people do not need prescription pain medication and can return to their normal activities the next day. After a few months, the radiation is gone and will not cause any harm. Because of this, there is no need to take out the seeds.

It’s not painful. It’s in and out. You may have a few little mild discomforts for a week, week and a half, but it’s better than a graveyard. This is the best way to handle your circumstances. Take full advantage of them" Amos

Is Prostate Seed Brachytherapy Right for Me?

Reasons to Consider Prostate Seed Brachytherapy

Proven History

Brachytherapy is not a new procedure. It has been used since the 20th century to treat many forms of cancer and there are decades of research showing the effectiveness of brachytherapy. With a very high chance of curing prostate cancer with minimal long-term side effects, each prostate seed implanted has given more than 1 million patients worldwide and more than 271,000 Theragenics seed patients the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest during and after treatment.

Minimally Invasive

Brachytherapy is a minimally invasive cancer treatment, meaning it does not require a great deal of complex surgical equipment. In fact, prostate seed brachytherapy procedures do not require incisions from which you would need to heal.

The least invasive procedure was seed implant and it had least amount of side effects" David

The seeds are small, about the size of a grain of rice, and implantation is far less traumatic on the body than traditional surgery. Patients may have mild pain and tenderness immediately after the procedure but typically recover soon after seed implantation.

Short Treatment & Recovery Times

The prostate seeds are outpatient procedure, meaning most men can get up and go home the same day of treatment. As there are no incisions, recovery time is minimal so you can return to your usual routines much sooner after the procedure compared to people who have undergone other types of prostate cancer treatments such as surgery.  Patients must avoid strenuous activity the first few days post-procedure but can go back to work and fulfilling normal activities the next day.

Reduced Side Effects7

Side effects from treatment are reduced due to a shorter duration of treatment and less cumulative exposure to radiation. Prostate seeds deliver therapy to the treatment site and help preserve healthy organs and tissues surrounding the prostate. This means that prostate seeds not only provide cancer treatment but help preserve sexual function and bladder control. Men with significant pre-existing urinary obstructive symptoms are more likely to experience side effects, but the vast majority of men maintain their sexual function, maintain a good urinary quality of life, and have minimal to no bowel symptoms.  For many men who detect prostate cancer early, prostate seed brachytherapy is great treatment option to consider due to its effectiveness in curing prostate cancer but with minimal long-term side effects. With each implanted prostate seed, patients can maintain their vitality during and after treatment.  If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, ask your doctor if prostate seed brachytherapy is right for you.


Here is a list of questions to ask your doctor about prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment options, and post-treatment expectations.

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