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SpaceOAR™ HydrogelSpaceOarDiagram

The prostate is next to the rectum and naturally separated by a small space. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer can unintentionally cause damage to the rectum, which can lead to issues with bowel function.

SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel is an absorbable hydrogel that temporarily creates space between the prostate and the rectum, reducing the radiation dose delivered to the rectum during prostate radiation therapy. The “OAR” in SpaceOAR stands for “organ at risk,” and with radiation therapy to the prostate, this organ is the rectum.

The hydrogel spacer pushes the rectum away from the prostate, reducing the radiation dose delivered to the rectum and potentially decreasing or eliminating rectal injury during prostate radiation therapy.

How SpaceOAR is Implanted?

SpaceOAR Hydrogel is typically implanted as an outpatient procedure in Tennessee Urology’s Urologic Surgery Center of Knoxville. Or, in some cases, the hydrogel may be implanted in your physician’s office prior to the start of radiation treatment.

The SpaceOAR Hydrogel is injected as a liquid through a small needle inserted between the rectum and the prostate. Your doctor will use ultrasound imaging to ensure correct placement. The hydrogel can be implanted under local anesthesia or using a sedative to minimize any discomfort during placement.

Following the implantation, you may experience some temporary discomfort at the injection site. Patients typically report no prolonged discomfort from the implanted gel.

SpaceOAR Hydrogel stays in place for about three months. After about six months, the hydrogel is naturally absorbed into the body and removed in your urine.

What are the Benefits of SpaceOAR Hydrogel?

Clinical data comparing patients with and without SpaceOAR hydrogel demonstrated the benefits to include reduction of rectal toxicity resulting in:

  • Improved bowel function
  • Improvements in urinary function
  • A higher likelihood to maintain sexual function

Talk to your urologist to see if SpaceOAR is right for you.