Cancer Care

 

 

Discharge Instructions for I-125 Prostate Seed Implant Patients

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Antibiotics

You may be given a prescription for an antibiotic to take when you arrive home. If so, be sure to take every tablet in the bottle, even if you are feeling better before the prescription is finished. If you begin itching, notice a rash or start to swell on your trunk, arms, legs and/or throat, immediately stop taking the antibiotic and call your Urologist.

Diet

Resume your usual diet when you return home. To keep your bowels moving easily and softly, drink prune, apple and cranberry juice at room temperature. You may also take a stool softener, such as Colace, which is available without prescription at local pharmacies.

Daily activities
  • No driving or heavy lifting for at least two days after the implant.
  • No bike riding, horseback riding or riding lawn mowers for the first month after the implant.
  • Any strenuous physical activity should be approved by your doctor before you resume it.
Sexual relations

You may resume sexual relations two weeks after the procedure. A condom should be used for the first two weeks. Your semen may be dark brown or black; this is normal and is related bleeding that may have occurred during the implant.

Postoperative swelling

Expect swelling and bruising of the scrotum and perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus). Both the swelling and the bruising should resolve in l or 2 weeks. Ice packs and over- the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil or Aleve may lessen your discomfort.

Postoperative urination

Most men experience burning on urination and/or urinary frequency. If this becomes bothersome, contact your Urologist. Medication can be prescribed to relieve these problems. Continue to take the Flomax as directed. It is normal to have some blood in your urine for a few days after the implant.

Special instructions related to the seeds

It is unlikely that you will pass an Iodine-125 seed in your urine. However, as a precaution, for the next week, urinate through the strainer that you received when you left the hospital. The seeds are silver in color and are about as large as a grain of rice. If you pass a seed, follow the directions in your discharge kit.

Contact your doctor for
  • Temperature greater than 101 F
  • Increasing pain
  • Inability to urinate
Follow-up

About five weeks after the implant, you will return for a fol1ow-up appointment in the Radiation Oncology Department. At that time, you will have a physical exam, a rectal prostate exam, and a PSA level will be drawn.

General information regarding Iodine seeds
  • Iodine-125 is a low energy radioactive material. It is not deeply penetrating and loses energy at short distances. Your prostate will absorb the radiation. Objects that are touched or used by the patient do not become radioactive.
  • Body wastes (urine and stool) or body fluids (saliva, tears, semen or blood) are not radioactive.
  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has determined that no radiation precautions are needed for patients undergoing Iodine-125 seed implantation. The NRC states that such patients do not present a risk to the people around them, including young children and pregnant women. However, in keeping with the general principle that radiation exposure should be kept as low reasonably possible, we suggest the following:
  • Children and pets should not sit on the patient's lap for the first two (2) weeks after the implant.
  • Pregnant (or possibly pregnant) women should avoid prolonged, close contact with the patient for the first two (2) weeks after the implant.
  • A distance of three (3) feet is acceptable.
  • At a distance of three (3) feet, there is no limit to the length of time anyone can be with the patient.
  • After two (2) weeks, no further precautions are necessary. If you have any questions, please call the Urology Department: (603) 650-6052