What to expect after your Prostate Seed Implant
There are things you should know after you
have a Prostate Seed Implant. This handout
will explain these things. Also see HFFY #
6567, Radiation Safety with Prostate Seed
24-48 hours after your implant
Avoid heavy lifting or a tiring activity. You
may also want use cold packs on the area
under your scrotum. You can use these cold
packs 2-3 times a day for 20-30 minutes at a
time. You may also use Tylenol for pain.
Below are some common side
effects that may occur in the first
weeks after your implant…
Some patients have bleeding in the area
behind the scrotum. This bleeding can occur
under the skin. It can lead to bruising and/or
swelling in the areas of the scrotum, penis,
and groin. This will resolve with time. Do
not take blood thinners for 3-4 days after the
implant. The doctor or nurse will go over
this with you.
It is also common to see blood in the urine
after the implant. Your urine may be pink-
tinged to light red. You may also pass small
clots of blood. Drink at least 2-3 quarts of
liquid per day for 4-5 days after the implant.
This will help to reduce the number of blood
clots that form in the bladder. If you pass
large amounts of pure blood or large blood
clots (more than 1 cup over a 24 hour
period), call the radiation doctor.
Problems with Urinating
Some patients have problems urinating after
an implant. You may feel like you have to
go all the time or right away. It is normal
for your prostate gland to swell after your
implant. Sometimes it swells so much you
are not able to urinate. This can happen
while you are still in the hospital. If so, you
will be sent home with a bladder catheter to
drain urine out of your bladder. We will
give you instructions if you are sent home
with a bladder catheter.
Some patients are able to pass urine while in
the hospital. After they get home, however,
things may change. They find they cannot
urinate. This can happen in the first 24-48
hours after discharge. If you are unable to
pass urine, call the radiation doctor. He or
she will tell you what to do. You may be
told to continue to drink fluids and wait.
You may be told to go to the nearest
Emergency Department. If you go to a non-
UW facility, take this paperwork with you.
Problems with Bowel Movements
You may have loose bowel movements after
the implant. This may last from a few days
to a few weeks. It occurs because the seeds
put into the prostate gland are close to the
rectum. The rectal tissues can become
inflamed. Call the nurse if this happens. He
or she may tell you to cut back on your fiber
intake and/or spicy foods. If still a problem,
you may be told to take some Immodium™.
Let us know if you have bowel problems
that last more than 1-2 days.
Problems with Pain
Some patients have pain after the implant.
This can be due to swelling. It is okay to
take Tylenol, call if you do not get relief. It
is also okay to sit on a donut-type pillow.
You should keep moving around, eating, and
drinking fluids. If your soreness is mild, it
should go away in a few days. If the pain
and/or swelling are more than mild it can
take a few weeks to go away.
Issues related to Sexual Function
For the first 2 weeks after your implant, you
should not ejaculate. This helps to ensure
that you do not expel any seeds. After 2
weeks, you may ejaculate, but you must
wear a condom. Condoms should be used
for the first 3 months after your implant.
This will ensure that seeds do not go into
your partner. If you notice a seed in the
condom, do not touch it. Use a scissors to
cut the condom. Flush the seed down the
toilet. Please see HFFY # 6567, Radiation
Safety with Prostate Seed Implantation.
Your ejaculate may be dark brown to black.
This is caused by inner bleeding. You may
also have less volume. Over time, your
ejaculate will return to its normal color.
In the months to years after your
Some side effects from Prostate Seed
Implantation may not appear for months to
years. This can be related to the effects of
the radiation on normal tissues. It can also e
related to normal aging. These effects are
Chronic Problems with Urinating
Some men develop long term problems with
urination. These problems can include
passing urine often, the need to go right
away, or having a decreased stream. The
problems can also include urine
incontinence (leaking) or pain with the
passing of urine. Men with these types of
problems before implant are more likely to
have these types of problems after implant.
Keep drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid
drinks with caffeine—it may help to reduce
symptoms of having to go right away. If
your symptoms cause problems, talk to your
doctors and nurses. The doctors may be able
to prescribe a medicine that may help.
Chronic Problems with Sexual
Long-term problems with sexual functioning
can develop. These problems can have
many causes. Some of these problems
include not being able to have an erection,
not having firm erections, and/or not being
able to reach orgasm. Men who have these
types of problems before an implant are
more likely to have the problems after an
implant. If sexual activity is a problem for
you talk to your doctors and nurses. The
doctors may be able to prescribe a medicine
that may help.
Chronic Problems with Rectal Bleeding
It is rare but some patients can develop
problems with rectal bleeding many months
after the implant. Sometimes rectal bleeding
is caused by passing hard, dry stools. The
small blood vessels in your rectum can be
damaged by radiation. Damaged blood
vessels bleed more easily. Do not get too
concerned if you see a small amount of
blood on your stool or toilet paper. A stool
softener may be helpful. You can also
increase your fluid intake and/or add fiber to
your diet. If you have large amounts of
rectal bleeding, call your doctor.
Your radiation doctor will see you in the
clinic after your implant. This will be
scheduled at regular intervals. The doctor
may ask you to get lab work before your
visit. The lab work can be done by your
local doctor. This will help the doctor to see
how well your implant is controlling your
disease. When you visit, the doctor will ask
you about your urinary, bowel, and sexual
functioning. You will also be asked about
any other health issues that have developed
since your last visit.
Please call if you have any questions or
concerns. The number for the Radiation
Oncology Clinic is (608) 263-8500. Toll
free 1-800-323-8942. If the clinic is closed,
your call will be transferred to our answering
service. Ask to speak to the radiation doctor
on call. The doctor will call you back.
Miller, D. C., Sanda, M. G., Dunn, R. L., Montie, J. E., Pimentel, H. Sandler, H. M. & Wei, J. T. (2005). Long term
outcomes among localized prostate cancer survivors: Health-related quality of life changes after radical
prostatectomy, external radiation, and brachytherapy. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 23(12), 2772-2780.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©7/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6566.