Two types of radioactive seeds are used in brachytherapy, Iodine and Palladium. Although the seeds remain permanently implanted in the prostate, the Iodine seed delivers 90% of its radiation dosage in roughly six months and takes approximately one year to lose its energy. The Palladium seed delivers 90% of its radiation dosage in approximately two months and loses its energy in roughly six months. Both types emit low energy radiation.
Approximately 80 to 120 seeds are placed inside the prostate gland using an ultrasound wand inserted into the rectum called transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guidance. TRUS guidance has enabled the brachytherapy team to plan and customize the seed implant based on the patient's prostate size and shape by preoperatively reconstructing a 3-dimensional, exact proportioned, computer generated image of the prostate gland. With our computerized dosage measurement system, seed placement can be planned and customized to the patient's prostate size and shape, allowing for more precise placement of the radioactive seeds.