When the plan is perfected, it is transferred to the automatic afterloading machine. The machine is attached to the treatment catheters in the prostate and the treatment is commenced. During this time the patient remains on his back in the brachytherapy suite. There is no sensation at all during the treatment, although the patient will hear the quiet noise of the machine.

The patient is observed closely with a video monitor as the treatment is delivered, which takes approximately 10 minutes. The patient is then disconnected from the machine and returns to the ward.

The patient comes down to the radiotherapy department for two treatments over two days and spends the rest of the time in the ward as an inpatient lying flat on his back.  Since there is no radioactive source inside the patient once treatment is complete, there is no restriction on nursing care between treatments and visitors are welcome.

The treatment catheters are left in place until the last treatment is complete and small caps are placed over the open ends of the treatment catheters when they are not connected to the machine.

Generally in Australia either two or three treatments or “fractions” are given; this is usually one on the same day as the operative implant and then one or two on the following day, six hours apart.

The treatment catheters are removed after the last fraction and the patient can often be discharged directly home the following day.

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