The Prostate Volumetric study is done to assess the size and shape of the prostate gland in the presence of prostate cancer. These measurements are taken in order to determine the best locations for placement of radiation seeds for brachytherapy.
Your doctor will prescribe the preparation he feels is necessary for this test. The main requirement is that the rectum be empty, so an enema is taken at home just before you come to the hospital or just after you arrive for your test. You must remain very still for this test, so you will receive some medications to make you sleepy and relaxed. In planning for this sedation the doctor may require you to have no intake by mouth for at least six hours prior to the test.
During this rectal ultrasound study a tube is passed through the urethra into the bladder and a small balloon on the end is filled with 1-2 teaspoons of water to hold it in place. The tube is clamped; no urine will drain from your bladder. Then an ultrasound probe (about ¾” in diameter) is passed through the anus into the rectum. The doctor takes ultrasound pictures of the prostate and the tissues surrounding it. Ultrasound pictures are made using high-frequency sound waves to create images of tissue layers beneath the surface. A computer is used to make the measurements from these pictures. A physician who has special training in ultrasound exams performs the exam. He will have an assistant who also has special training for this procedure. A physiologist who has special training in radiation therapy will also be present to examine the pictures as they are made. The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes. The doctor will discuss the result with you before you leave.
At he end of the procedure the physiologist will take the pictures and the measurements and analyze them by computer to determine the locations for seed placement. This analysis may take a couple of days to complete. When the analysis is complete the seed placement procedure will be scheduled.
You will recover from your sedation about an hour in the outpatient department before going home. You should plan to just rest and relax after sedation. You may not operate a car or other dangerous equipment that day. You should not sign any legal documents that day after your sedation. You may slowly advance to your normal diet as you feel like it. You may resume normal activities the next day.