If you receive High Dose Brachytherapy using the Syed or Y applicator, you will stay in the hospital while you receive treatments twice a day for two to four days.
A member of the anesthesia department will talk with you before you go to the operating room to have the applicators inserted. Many patients choose to have an epidural catheter placed in their lower back to control pain throughout their hospital stay.
After your applicators are put into place, you will go to the radiology department for a CT scan to adjust placement of the needles or applicators. As the team carefully plans your therapy, they may call for additional x-rays and adjustments.
During therapy, the applicators are attached to the radiation treatment machine, which positions and removes the radioactive source. Although the therapists have to leave the room, they will be nearby and able to see and hear you.
Between treatments, you are returned to your hospital room for bed rest and your mobility will be limited. Please feel free to ask nurses to help you adjust your position. You will not be radioactive and can be visited by family and friends.
No matter what types of therapy you receive, rest assure that the radiation team is committed to provide safe, carefully targeted treatments for your cancers.
For more information, please contact our experts at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.