SpaceOAR hydrogel spacing treatment for prostate cancer

Biodegradable spacer to prevent rectal side effects from prostate radiotherapy. We offer a range of innovative treatment techniques for prostate cancer, as well as exceptional personal care to all our patients.

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What is it for?

To prevent side effects of prostate radiotherapy

Treatment overview

SpaceOAR hydrogel is an innovative, absorbable gel designed to reduce side effects from radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer. The gel is injected into the space between the prostate and the rectum, widening the gap between the two. This provides protection by reducing the amount of radiation that reaches the bowel, lowering the chance of side effects.

SpaceOAR hydrogel is injected into position under local or general anaesthetic using ultrasound guidance. The procedure takes around half an hour and is carried out before starting a course of radiotherapy. The gel remains in place for three months, providing protection throughout the course of radiotherapy treatment. 

At London Urologica, our expert consultants offer diagnostics and treatment in The London Clinic, with access to many cutting-edge procedures and technologies. 

The London Clinic was the first hospital in the UK to offer SpaceOAR hydrogel, which is now used widely in hospitals around the world.

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SpaceOAR hydrogel consists of two liquids. When combined, they form a protective gel. SpaceOAR hydrogel is water-based and absorbent. 

This means that over time it is completely broken down and absorbed by the body. It also contains a CE-marked substance that is used in other surgical sealants.

Radiotherapy is an effective treatment for prostate cancer, but the radiation can affect the organs surrounding the prostate. This can lead to side effects that impact quality of life, affecting the bowel, urinary system and sexual function. 

With SpaceOAR hydrogel, the distance between the bowel and the prostate is increased. This means that when radiotherapy is applied to the prostate, less radiation will reach the bowel. 

In clinical trials, SpaceOAR hydrogel has been shown to significantly reduce the chance of side effects affecting the rectum, such as bleeding, urgency and proctitis (inflammation of the bowel). It also provides protection against urinary side effects.

SpaceOAR hydrogel can be inserted into position under either local or general anaesthetic. 

Your consultant will discuss with you which will be the most suitable for you, depending on your circumstances.

The procedure to insert SpaceOAR hydrogel is usually carried out as a day case. 

You should be able to go home the same day and carry on with your normal activities as soon as you have recovered from the anaesthetic.

At London Urologica, SpaceOAR hydrogel is only provided as part of a package of radiotherapy treatment. 

This is because of the planning, imaging and expertise required to carry out the procedure. 

SpaceOAR hydrogel has been shown to be safe and effective. As with any medical procedure, there is the chance of some side effects, although the risk is low. 

You may experience some pain or discomfort for a short time after the procedure. 

There is a small risk of bleeding or infection. There is a risk of incorrect placement of the gel, however, this is minimised by the use of ultrasound guidance.

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Speak to someone today and SpaceOAR hydrogel. Book an appointment or ask for advice.