What happens when I am admitted for treatment?
A nurse will admit you. This will involve explaining the process, offering you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. You will also be assessed by an anaesthetist. If you are admitted as an in-patient to Ward 34 or 35, then you will also be seen by the ward doctor who will ask you questions and examine you.
You will have a blood sample taken and may have an ECG test (a heart tracing). You may need to go for an x-ray and see the anaesthetist. This is to assess how fit you are for treatment
Please bring with you any medication that you are taking and show this to the doctor or nurse.
You may be given some white stockings to wear before you go to theatre. This is to prevent the possibility of blood clots in your legs.
What happens in theatre?
When you are in theatre the doctor will examine you and insert the applicator into your vagina and cervix and the catheter into your bladder. The applicator will be secured with gauze packing and elastic bandages around your thighs. As soon as everything is in position and you are awake and comfortable you will be taken from theatre to the radiotherapy department on a trolley.
What happens in the Radiotherapy Department?
In the radiotherapy department you will have a CT scan to determine the length of treatment you need. Treatment times vary for individuals and are worked out after you have the applicator inserted. The whole process of going to theatre, planning your treatment and having the treatment usually takes about 2 hours. CT planning takes about half an hour. The actual treatment time is only about 10 minutes.
The internal radiotherapy treatment will be given to you in a special treatment room. A tube will be attached to the vaginal applicator. The machine can then deliver treatment to you internally through the tube.
How does Selectron treatment feel?
During the treatment you will remain lying flat on the treatment trolley. If you have had an anaesthetic into your spine – you will not feel any sensation from your waist downwards. Otherwise you may feel some backache or discomfort from the vaginal packing. The doctor will give you painkilling medication. If you experience pain you must let us know so that we can help you.
Can I eat and drink?
You will be going to theatre on Thursday morning so you will not be able to eat or drink after bedtime on Wednesday night.
What happens when the treatment finishes?
The machine switches off automatically when the treatment has finished. The doctor will remove the vaginal packing, the applicator and the catheter in the treatment room. This is quite straight forward and does not usually hurt. Once everything is removed you will be taken back to the day case theatre ward or the in patient ward on the trolley. Here you will be given something to eat and drink.
If you are having your treatment as a day case, before you are discharged the nursing staff will make sure you are well enough to go home.