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Brachytherapy Program


Interstitial Implants

Gynecologic Brachytherapy: Interstitial Implants at UCLA

Interstitial Implants - Breast Brachytherapy. UCLA Radiation Oncology. Interstitial Implants:
Dummy radiation source appears as a dotted line.  Interstitial implants are required for more advanced stage gynecologic malignancies. Generally, two implants are performed, a week apart, with each implant receiving two to three HDR treatments. The implants are done under spinal anesthesia in the operating room. Hollow plastic catheters are inserted through the perineum, guided with ultrasound, fluoroscopy and endoscopy, to fully encompass the tumor.
Ureteral Stent Placement During High Dose Rate
Ureteral Stent Placement During High Dose Rate
Gynecologic Interstitial Brachytherapy
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The catheter placement is secured by a rubber template which is sutured against the perineum. The patient is transferred to the recovery room and following recovery, transported to our clinic for the simulation radiography, computerized treatment planning and treatment. After the first treatment, the patient goes to her hospital room, stays overnight, and the next one or two treatments are given the next day. After the last treatment, the implant is removed and the patient is discharged with home care instructions.

The procedure is repeated for the second implant. Expected side effects from interstitial brachytherapy for gynecologic malignancy include a temporary increase in urinary frequency, some burning with urination, and possibly blood-tinged urine for 2-3 days following implant removal. Bowel function may also be affected by radiation, antibiotics and pain medications. Perineal or pelvic discomfort is treated with oral pain medication as needed and sitz baths. Possible long term side effects are related to the radiation dose delivered to surrounding organs and will be discussed with the patient at the time of consultation.

CT Dosimetry.
Dosimetry is is a transverse view of an interstitial implant for cervical cancer that has extended beyond the "reach" of the tandem and ovoids applicator. Note how the radiation dose can be adjusted to avoid overdosing the rectum and bladder. The physicians also placed treatment catheters to treat the pelvic lymph nodes.


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