Hi G6 and also a big WELCOME to overthepond. Glad to have you with us, over, and glad things are going so well.
G6, there are side effects with every treatment but it is fairly well documented that the side effects from brachytherapy are generally less than with surgery. You can read my "journey" by copying and pasting the link at the bottom of my signature...maybe you already have done so.
To summarize, there are two main types of SE's with seeds, urinary and sexual. If you have serious urinary problems before brachytherapy you may not be a good candidate for the procedure. However, if you have fairly normal urinary functions for your age, then the most likely urinary SE's from brachy are some urgency and frequency for the first 2-3 months after your procedure. These are usually easily controlled with Flomax and avoidance of alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods during that time. Permanent brachy uses two types of seeds...Palladium and Iodine. The half-life of the Palladium is shorter and the symptoms tend to be a little more severe but end sooner. In either case, compared to incontinence, the brachy symptoms are hardly worth complaining about.
The second potential SE is sexual in the form of ED. This SE occurs in about 35% of brachytherapy patients (vs. 50% of surgery patients) but does not usually manifest itself until 2 years or so post-procedure. If it does occur it often can be managed with Viagra, Cialis or Levitra...just like the ED caused by surgery. There is some evidence that the pills tend to work better with brachy patients because of the lack of trauma to the nerves. If a patient's sexual performance is ok pre-procedure there is a much better chance of it being ok post-procedure. I am personally now 2 1/2 years post- and all is well for me in that department.
There are other risks of surgery, brachytherapy, IMRT, Cyro or any other treatment that are rare...what I call the edge of the curve. Personally, I think those rare things are red herrings and I focussed on the big three...cure, urinary symptoms and sexual symptoms.
Hope this helps.
Age 62 (64 now), G 3 + 4 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2/16 cancerous, 27cc. Brachytherapy 12/9/08. 73 Iodine-125 seeds. Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort. Everything continues to function normally as of 12/8/10. PSA: 6 mo 1.4, 1 yr. 1.0, 2 yr. .8. My docs are "delighted"! My journey: