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Low-Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy With Vicryl Mesh Implant for Lung Cancer

Some forms of lung cancers respond best to exposing the cancer to low, steady radiation for a long period.

We do this by placing radioactive "seeds," implanted in plastic mesh, in the body near the lung tumor.

In time, the mesh dissolves and the seeds lose their radioactivity.

What Can I Expect During LDR Brachytherapy?

Your UPMC Hillman Cancer Center radiation oncologist will plan the implant's placement and how many seeds that will be in the implant.

He or she bases this treatment plan on the tumor's location, size, and stage of your lung cancer.

During LDR brachytherapy, your surgeon will place the implant near the lung and then complete the surgery.

The implant consists of a piece of mesh made of vicryl.

Vicryl is a type of plastic designed to dissolve in the body. It's flexible and thin, and looks like a piece of gauze.

A radiation oncologist implants the radioactive seeds — which are the size and shape of a grain of rice — in the mesh.

The mesh dissolves in a few months, and the seeds lose their radioactivity in about a year.

Due to the smallness of the seeds, the implant can permanently remain in the chest without any discomfort.

What Are the Benefits of LDR Brachytherapy Treatment for Lung Cancer?

After recovery from the surgery, most people resume their normal lives and aren't conscious of the implant.

In most cases, the implant doesn't affect patients' diets.

Some patients experience fatigue following the surgery.

Because of the radioactive seeds, you'll need to avoid exposing children and pregnant women to radiation.

Although very little radiation exits your body, your care team will instruct you on the precautions you need to take. They'll give you these details and answer any questions before you leave the hospital.

Contact Us About Lung Cancer Care

To learn more about lung cancer care or to make an appointment, you can: