CSN Login
Members Online: 10

You are here

Dilation after brachytherapy

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 66
Joined: Mar 2019

Today I finished my third and last brachytherapy. I found out about dilators here and during the second visit, I talked to the nurse about it. She filled out some papers for the doctor, but didn't give anything to me. The radiologist will see me in a month. So, I have no dilators and I'm afraid a month is too long to start the ball rolling for this? At the very least, maybe I should have them already.

They used a medium size device for the brachytherapy and although I wasn't uncomfortable during insertion, I keep on thinking that the device didn't look too wide. So I'm afraid of vaginal stenosis big time. 

How long after brachytherapy did you start dilation? Should I call the office/hospital back and ask for it, or do you think I can wait the four weeks till the next appointment?

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 20
Joined: Mar 2019

I saw the radiation oncologist 6 weeks after my last treatment, I got my dilators at that visit.  Be sure to ask for them.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mar 2013

Primavera, give the doctor's office a call.  I remember the entire process.  I started with a medium and (I read it from one of the ladies here) used my dialator every day for 10 minutes.  I know they say three times a week, but one lovely lady said every day and I went with that for me.  A year or so later my gyn onc said I needed a large dialator.  Ok then.  I remember that was a PROCESS!!!!  I struggled but finally did it and have no problems at all now.

Again, I would call the office - tell them your concerns and ask to speak to the doctor if they don't give you a good answer.  Keep pushing my dear.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 66
Joined: Mar 2019

...no matter what they say. Radiologist was not very concerned about my concerns. I remember at the very first visit he said "but you might not need them" when I asked. I've kept on asking. I just don't want to start too late! Although Quilter_1 just said she got them six weeks later.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mar 2013

Primavera, I will add, after years of doing it daily, here I am almost 7 years out, and I do NOT have to do it every day.  You will know.  It is completely understandable to have your concerns.  I remember probably having the same thoughts you are having.  

Ribbons's picture
Ribbons
Posts: 61
Joined: Jan 2019

at the follow up check up. My radiologist said there needed to be time to heal after the last brachytherapy, I had 3 treatments. She gave me mine at the check up. 

zsazsa1
Posts: 266
Joined: Oct 2018

I was given mine at the last visit for external pelvic rad treatment.  They offered me a small and a medium - I took a look at the small and just started laughing, so they brought me instead a medium and a large.  I thought that since I'm still sexually active, I didn't need to use it, but this week GYN Onc said yes, do it 3 times a week.  I'd only used the medium, but I guess I'll try to use the large.   (I did try the large, no problem, that's what I'll use from now on.  I am now about 5 weeks out from external radiation, and still no vaginal issues.)

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 66
Joined: Mar 2019

Thank goodness for this forum. I would have never known what questions to ask. This was not even in the form for "concerns" and I was the one to raise the question to the nurse. Nurse said "what should I say? I don't want to list it as a closing vagina issue." I said '"scar tissue", write that down'...she goes "oh right, that's what it is called." Ugh.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mar 2013

Just an FYI - the term for it is 'stenosis.'  If she is a nurse in the radiologist or gyn onc's office they should know this.  It is frustrating to hear this, however, thank goodness we have a place like this to discuss these things.  

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 66
Joined: Mar 2019

I forgot that term right there. She was the radiologist nurse. I was getting the same kind of foggy mind as she had. All I could think of was that I was afraid to get scarring in the vagina that will make it close up or get too tight.

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 206
Joined: Jan 2017

I will not say who told me this, but he works in a huge hospital and he is so discouraged with the education of new nurses and medical staff.  That is why this forum is so important.  My dilation had to be stopped due to a number of reasons - 8 brachys - age - blood thinners. Thankfully I have wonderful docs and they agreed that I could let the stenosis happen and future checks will not be pelvic. At 79, that is best for me. Each woman has different reasons to do what is best for her. We make quite a strong army of women for sure. 

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 66
Joined: Mar 2019

...and I was wondering what happened with your issue. I'm glad your doctors could agree on what to do in your case.

Subscribe to Comments for "Dilation after brachytherapy"