During the consultation, expect Dr Shaffer to ask several questions, perform an examination and discuss treatment options. If it is agreed that radiotherapy is the right treatment for the condition, the patient will be asked to sign a consent form and an appointment will be made. The patient will be given a choice of specialist treatment centres.
The Dupuytren’s Practice aims to ensure that patients can fit their treatments around their lifestyle, and where possible, appointments will be made at a time convenient to them.
Dr Shaffer will outline the nodules and cords on the hand or foot, and a safety margin will be marked around them in order to create a ‘shield’ for the unaffected part of the hand or foot.
The treatment area will remain the same throughout treatment even if the nodules in the hand or foot seem to be decreasing in size. This is done in order to limit the likelihood of recurrence after treatment.
At the first appointment, a member of the team will be available to talk through any questions before the patient is taken to the treatment room.
The patient will then be asked to lay, stand or sit next to the LINAC (linear accelerator) and place the area to be treated on a medical sand-bag that will provide support during treatment.
The treatment itself will take just under a minute to complete. The patient will not feel any pain and will not feel drowsy or dizzy, and there is no reason why they should not be able to drive home.
The treatment is typically administered over five consecutive days, excluding weekends, and is repeated after a break of two months. Each treatment takes just under a minute per hand. This second round of treatment will again be given daily on weekdays for five consecutive days.
After treatment patients will receive a follow up call to see if they have noted any improvement in their condition.
Click here to read more about the experience of other patients who have been treated using radiotherapy to find out what they thought about their treatment.