Jun 21, 2010 - 6:20 pm
I completed my first (of five) CyberKnife sessions today. The following describes the procedure.
Preparatory protocol involves a low fiber diet, an overnight laxitive and Gas-X, and a Fleet enema in the morning prior to the appointment. The object is to remove as much gas and material from the colon and bladder as possible in order to reduce prostate movement during the procedure.
On arriving at the CyberKnife Center I dressed in scrubs and was positioned on the table with my lower legs in a previously made mold to reduce involuntary pelvic movement. It took about 10 minutes for the radiation techs to properly position me and the CyberKnife computer to locate and track the four gold fiducials which had been inserted about three weeks previously. The doctor and chief radiologist double check everything and give the go-ahead to start the procedure.
The room with the robot is in about a 25x25 space with the robot connected to the adjustable bed and two imaging devices mounted from the ceiling. The control room is located adjacent to the CyberKnife room and the patient is seen on four seperate cameras along with a speaker system for communication.
I put my iPod into the stereo system with a selection of Enya, crossed my arms over my chest, closed my eyes, the room lights dimmed, and the robot starting moving about. It moves fairly rapidly and smoothly with a low buzzing sound and positions itself in a wide variety of positions to deliver the dosage to the prostate from dozens of different angles. On a few occasions the robot shut down as it sensed that my prostate was moving beyond the limits it is programmed to accomodate and then it comes back on after about 15 seconds. Afterward, I was shown a tracking chart that showed the movement of the prostate and was surprised at how much it moved about...up to 3 mm at a time.
The session lasted 40 minutes. I was advised when we were halfway through the procedure. There was no sensation of anything other than my left arm went to sleep near the end. Although it is only the first session, several hours afterward there has been no urinary urgency or bowel irritation.
The remaining four sessions are planned to be exactly the same as this one.
Afterward, I changed clothes and went to work.
My five sessions will be on a M, W, F, M, W schedule.
So far, so good.