Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer, Care After

ExitCare Image Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your health care provider may also give you more specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your health care provider if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE

The area behind the scrotum will probably be tender and bruised. For a short period of time you may have:

  • Difficulty passing urine. You may need a catheter for a few days to a month.

  • Blood in the urine or semen.

  • A feeling of constipation because of prostate swelling.

  • Frequent feeling of an urgent need to urinate.

For a long period of time you may have:

  • Inflammation of the rectum. This happens in about 2% of people who have the procedure.

  • Erection problems. These vary with age and occur in about 15–40% of men.

  • Difficulty urinating. This is caused by scarring in the urethra.

  • Diarrhea.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your health care provider.

  • You will probably have a catheter in your bladder for several days. You will have blood in the urine bag and should drink a lot of fluids to keep it a light red color.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments with your health care provider. If you have a catheter, it will be removed during one of these appointments.

  • Try not to sit directly on the area behind the scrotum. A soft cushion can decrease the discomfort. Ice packs may also be helpful for the discomfort. Don't put ice directly on the skin.

  • Shower and wash the area behind the scrotum gently. Do not sit in a tub.

  • If you have had the brachytherapy that uses the seeds, limit your close contact with children and pregnant women for 2 months because of the radiation still in the prostate. After that period of time the levels drop off quickly.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have a fever greater than 101°F (38.3°C).

  • You have chills.

  • You have shortness of breath.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have thick blood, like tomato juice, in the urine bag.

  • Your catheter is blocked so urine can't get into the bag. Your bladder area or lower abdomen may be swollen.

  • There is excessive bleeding from your rectum. It is normal to have a little blood mixed with your stool.

  • There is severe discomfort in the treated area that does not go away with pain medicine.

  • You have abdominal discomfort.

  • You have severe nausea or vomiting.

  • You develop any new or unusual symptoms.