HF 7944

Preparing for High Dose Rate (HDR) Prostate Radiation 

This handout will tell you how to prepare for high dose rate (HDR) prostate radiation and how to care for yourself at home after treatment. 


Start a clear liquid diet 12 hours before the scheduled treatment. Clear liquids include:

  • Water

  • Jello® prepared from the box

  • Broth

  • Black tea or coffee without cream or milk

  • Clear juices, like apple or grape. Juices with pulp (orange, lemonade, etc.) are not clear liquids.

  • Gatorade or other sports drinks.

Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to start of procedure.


Give yourself a phosphate enema the night before the treatment. Follow the directions on the package. You can buy this at any pharmacy.

Labs and Tests

You will need blood work within 30 days of the treatment. You will need an EKG within 6 months of the treatment. These can be done at any clinic. The radiation oncology nurse will help you set these up.

A history and physical exam are needed. This can be done at any doctor’s office. If you are having external beam radiation, the radiation oncologist can also do. The oncology nurse will help you set this up.

Medicine Before 

If you have medicines to take the morning of the procedure, take with a sip of water. We will send you a list of medicines that are safe to take and ones that need to be held the day of the treatment. Follow these directions or your treatment may be cancelled. If you have any questions about the list, call our clinic. If you have started new medicines not on the list, call us.

We may start you on Flomax (tamsulosin) a few days before the treatment. This helps control side effects of reduced urine flow. 

Activity Guidelines

  • Avoid hot tubs, pools, or outdoor water sources for 2 weeks after treatment. This is to prevent infections. Showers and sponge bathing are okay.

  • Avoid activities that put stress on the perineal area for 2 weeks, like biking, horseback riding, motorcycle riding, etc. Sit on a pillow if you do a lot of driving. This will help the area to heal.

  • It is okay to return to most types of work. We can provide work excuses if needed. 

  • Avoid sex for at least two weeks. You will notice blood or dried blood in the semen. This is normal and will clear up over time.

  • Listen to your body. If something causes you pain, don’t do it. 

Medicines After

You will take an antibiotic for a few days. Start this the evening after the treatment. We will call this into your pharmacy.

Do not take blood thinning medicines like aspirin for a week. Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS like ibuprofen or naproxen) for a week. This reduces the chance of bleeding.

Most pain after treatment is mild. You may use Tylenol(Acetaminophen)as directed. If you are still having pain, call us. 

Follow-Up Visits

You will be asked to schedule a follow-up visit in three months after the final treatment. We will do lab work to get a PSA at that time. If you have any questions or concerns before that time, call. 

If you have any questions about the treatment, call 608-263-8500.