SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel is not a radiation treatment but is used in conjunction with radiation treatments for the prostate gland. It temporarily creates space between the prostate and the rectum, reducing the radiation dose delivered to the rectum during prostate radiation therapy. The injectable gel that is placed between the prostate gland and rectum acts as a spacer, eliminating or reducing injury to the rectal tissue that could be caused by radiation.
Why Should I Have SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel?
By pushing the prostate farther from the rectum, the radiation dose delivered to the rectum is reduced, which may help to eliminate or decrease damage to the rectum. SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel separates the prostate from the rectum, which can help to reduce common side effects including rectal pain and bleeding, chronic diarrhea, urinary urgency and leakage, and erectile dysfunction.
With SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel in place, radiation oncologists can better target the cancer while preserving healthy tissue, which can help to maintain a patient’s quality of life.
Is it Safe?
SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel was FDA-cleared in April 2015. The hydrogel that temporarily creates space between the prostate and the rectum, remains in place during the course of radiation treatments. It is made up of two liquids that, when combined, form a soft gel material mostly made of water. It is naturally absorbed into the body and removed through urine in about six months.
What Are the Risks?
As with any medical treatment, there are some risks involved with the use of SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel. Potential complications associated with SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel include, but are not limited to:
Pain associated with SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel injection
Pain or discomfort associated with SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel
Needle penetration of the bladder, prostate, rectal wall, rectum, or urethra
Injection of SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel into the bladder, prostate, rectal wall, rectum, or urethra
Local inflammatory reactions
Intravascular injection of air, fluid or SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel