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Brachytherapy: Is also referred to as "seed therapy" or a "prostate implant." Brachytherapy involves the insertion of a radioactive material, commonly referred to as a source, into the body.
The low dose rate (LDR) seed implant is typically an outpatient procedure (i.e. you can go home later in the day) and is performed under anesthesia. Radioactive seeds (which are smaller than a grain of rice) are loaded in individual needles that are passed into the prostate gland through the skin between the scrotum and anus. As the needles penetrate the prostate they are seen on a monitor and can be accurately guided to their predetermined position. Once the position of the needle in the prostate matches the intended position, the needle is withdrawn leaving the seeds behind in the prostate. The radioactivity of the seeds slowly decays during several weeks to months after the procedure, and there are few long-term risks associated with this treatment.