Hydrogel Perirectal Spacer – for Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy
What is SpaceOAR® Hydrogel?
Prostate cancer is currently one of the most common cancers in the UK; more than 40,000 cases are diagnosed each year. Typical treatment plans include a high dose of radiotherapy that aims to effectively kill cancer cells so they cannot spread any further.
Due to the prostate being close to other organs and tissues, such as the rectum, there is a risk of long-term damage and side effects such as rectal pain, bowel and urinary leakage and sometimes erectile dysfunction.
The Hydrogel Perirectal Spacer procedure can reduce tissue exposure to radiotherapy for patients undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.
What are the benefits of SpaceOAR® Hydrogel?
SpaceOAR® Hydrogel, a NICE approved water-based hydrogel spacing device, has recently been adopted by NHS England’s Innovation Programme. Hydrogel is inserted into the cavity between the prostate and rectum, creating about 1cm of space. This allows the oncologist to deliver radiation to the prostate and reduce exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. The only prostate-rectum spacing device to be supported by a 222-patient randomised control trial and over 50,000 implants world-wide, this has had very positive patient outcomes.
Is SpaceOAR® Hydrogel right for me?
We can only make a booking for this procedure upon receiving a referral from your GP or a medical referrer.
What happens during SpaceOAR® Hydrogel treatment?
The treatment itself is minimally invasive and takes around 15-20 minutes as a day procedure, under general or local anaesthetic, depending on patient preference.
The hydrogel is inserted via a fine needle into the space between the prostate and rectum, under anaesthetic, the gel fills the cavity between the prostate and rectum, creating about 1cm of space.
Following the procedure an MRI scan will be required to ensure that the gel is positioned quickly. We aim for this to happen immediately after the Hydrogel Spacer insertion.
The spacer means radiotherapy clinicians can be more accurate. This technique gives about a centimetre of additional space for the clinician to see a clearer margin between the organs during radiotherapy.
After three months the gel will be broken down by the body and naturally absorbed.
Risks of SpaceOAR® Hydrogel treatment
There are risks associated with all medical procedures. Please talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits associated with SpaceOAR Hydrogel. Potential complications associated with SpaceOAR Hydrogel include, but are not limited to:
- Inflammatory reactions
- Pain or discomfort from the injection.
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