SAVI Brachytherapy Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Now that I have been scheduled for placement of SAVI Applicator, what happens next?

A: Your treatments will start the same day you have the Savi placed. On the day of your procedure, when your doctor releases you, come straight over to the Cancer Center of Irvine so we can begin your treatments. We would appreciate it if you could call when you are on your way so we will be ready for you. (949) 417-1100

Q: Will I be able to drive myself?

A: On your first day, you may wish to have someone drive you here, but that is up to your surgeon what he/she may wish you to do. After your first day, you are perfectly fine to drive yourself as long as you are not taking strong pain medication.

Q: Any restrictions on what to wear during the course of my treatments?

A: Blouses/tops that open in the front are preferred in order to gain easy access to the catheter. Sports bras that open in the front are also recommended. These bras can be found at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Do not wear bras with under wire during the course of your treatments.

Q: What will happen when I get to the center?

A: You will have a CT scan for the planning of your treatment. No preparation, needles or injections are necessary for this. You will be in the CT room no longer than 30 minutes.

Q: When will I have my first treatment?

A: There will be a 30 to 90 minute wait after the CT scan while your treatment is being planned- after which you will have your first treatment. While you wait, you may relax in our lobby and help yourself to coffee, tea, cold water and other goodies.

Q: How long do the treatments take?

A: Each treatment takes about 15 minutes. The radiation therapist will also change your dressing each time.

Q: Do I get a CT scan every day?

A: Yes, before each treatment, but it only takes 5 minutes. This is for your protection, to compare the SAVI location with the original CT scans.

Q: When will my appointments be?

A: We play the first day "by ear" depending on when you get here, treatment planning time, etc. The four days following, your appointments will be scheduled for two set daily treatments - morning and afternoon.

Q: Who will be delivering the treatments?

A: We have a staff of five Radiation Therapists that consist of both men and women. Your therapist may vary due to a pre-determined rotation. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this please let us know before we begin your treatment.

Q: Can I bring someone to watch the treatments?

A: For the initial treatment it is okay for a family member/friend to watch the treatment in order to see how to take care of the dressing. We ask that this person does not accompany you back for the remaining treatments. The treatment area is a "patient zone" and in order to respect the privacy of others we ask that they remain in our lobby.

Q: When will I be able to shower?

A: No showering during the week of the treatments, we will discuss bathing options.

Q: What happens after my last treatment?

A: Either our nurse or Dr.Tokita will remove the SAVI device. No stitches are necessary. All that is needed is Neosporin and gauze, which is to be applied over the weekend until the incision site heals (usually 1-2 days). It is also recommended that you take Aleve, Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil about 30 minutes before the last treatment.

Q: What comes next?

A: Dr. Tokita will want to see you for a follow-up exam the next office day, which only takes about 15 minutes.

A Tip For You

There will be a lot of drainage at the incision site so don't be alarmed. This drainage is a good thing. If your dressing becomes overly saturated while at home- you will need Neosporin for when you change the dressing. The radiation therapist will change your dressing here during each treatment and show you what you need to do.