Radiotherapy for Dupuytren's - What Will Happen?
In the initial consultation, the doctor will take a history, examine you and discuss the option of radiotherapy. If treatment is advised, and you decide that you would like this treatment, then you will be asked to sign a consent form so that the treatment can go ahead.
There are two types of treatment: X-rays (orthovoltage) and electrons, both of which are equally effective. The choice of which one is used depends on which one is available at the particular treatment centre.
At the "planning" stage, the nodules and cords will be drawn around on your hand with a pen, and a safety margin marked around them. The treatment plan will include shielding to protect the rest of the hand.
During the treatment, you may be standing, sitting on a chair, or lying on a couch. The machine will be moved near to your hand and lead shielding will be put in place if you are being treated with X-rays. With electron treatment, the shielding is within the machine. The treatment takes about 10 minutes each day, and will be given daily on weekdays (Monday to Friday) for five days. There will then be a two month gap, after which your doctor will see you before you start the second week of treatment.
You will not feel any pain during the treatment. The treatment will not make you feel drowsy or dizzy, so if you drive to the treatment centre then you can drive home.