What is SpaceOAR Hydrogel?
SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel is a polyethylene glycol (PEG) based hydrogel designed to temporarily create space between the prostate and rectum and reduce the radiation dose delivered to the rectum during radiation therapy. It has been clinically shown to help reduce the side effects of radiation therapy on patient quality of life.
Why should I consider SpaceOAR Hydrogel?
The rectum and prostate are in close proximity, which means during radiation therapy for prostate cancer the rectum may also be affected by radiation, potentially leading to issues with bowel function or other side effects. SpaceOAR Hydrogel is a polyethylene glycol (PEG) based absorbable hydrogel that temporarily creates space between the prostate and rectum. SpaceOAR Hydrogel is designed to reduce the radiation dose to the rectum and may help minimize the side effects of radiation therapy.
What is SpaceOar Hydrogel made of?
SpaceOAR Hydrogel is an FDA-cleared medical device made mostly of water and polyethylene glycol (PEG) that, when combined, form a soft gel-like synthetic material. PEG is a material commonly used in other medical products. You should discuss any known allergies you may have to the SpaceOAR Hydrogel ingredients with your doctor.
How can SpaceOar Hydrogel help me?
By acting as a spacer, the hydrogel temporarily moves the rectum on average a half inch (1.3 cm) away from the prostate. By separating the prostate from the rectum, SpaceOAR Hydrogel is designed to reduce the radiation dose delivered to the rectum and may help minimize the side effects of radiation therapy.
What does the procedure entail and how long will SpaceOAR Hydrogel stay in my body?
SpaceOAR Hydrogel is injected as a liquid through a needle inserted between the rectum and the prostate. It can be implanted via a local anesthetic that will numb the injection area or under general anesthesia that will put a patient to sleep during the procedure. SpaceOAR Hydrogel stays in place for about 3 months and is naturally absorbed into the body and removed through urine in about 6 months.
Watch this video from Boston Scientific Urology to learn more about the SpaceOAR Hydrogel Procedure
Where is the procedure done and how long does it take?
SpaceOAR Hydrogel can be implanted as an outpatient procedure in a hospital, surgery center, outpatient clinic, or doctor’s office prior to the start of radiation treatment. On average, the procedure itself is about 30 minutes.
What are the potential risks?
SpaceOAR Hydrogel contains polyethylene glycol (PEG). 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 injection, pain or discomfort from the hydrogel, site inflammation, infection (including abscess), inability to urinate, urgent need to urinate, constipation, rectal muscle spasm, damage to lining of rectum, ulcers, fistula (a hole between rectum and bladder, urethra, or skin below the scrotum), perforation (hole in prostate, bladder, urethra, rectum), necrosis (dead tissue), allergic reaction (local reaction or more severe reaction, such as anaphylaxis), embolism (blood vessel blockage is possible and may happen outside of the pelvis, potentially impacting vital organs or legs), fainting, and bleeding. If one or more of these complications occur, you may need medical treatment or surgery. Please talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits related to using SpaceOAR Hydrogel.
Is SpaceOAR Hydrogel Covered by Insurance?
SpaceOAR Hydrogel is considered a covered benefit by Medicare and most private insurance. The Boston Scientific Benefits Verification and Pre-Authorization Center is available to help verify a patient’s coverage prior to scheduling the procedure.
Is SpaceOar Hydrogel right for me?
SpaceOAR Hydrogel is intended to temporarily move the rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, and in creating this space it is the intent of SpaceOAR Hydrogel to reduce the radiation dose affecting the rectum. Patients with prostate cancer should talk to their doctor about SpaceOAR Hydrogel prior to starting radiation therapy and decide together if SpaceOAR is right for you.
The first Northern California designated SpaceOAR Hydrogel Center of Excellence
Epic Care and Dr. Gautam Prasad have been designated with the SpaceOAR Hydrogel Center of Excellence.
This designation recognizes a high degree of experience with applying SpaceOAR Hydrogel and commitment to minimizing the impact on urinary, sexual and bowel quality of life for prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.