SpaceOAR Specialist in NYC

Minimizing Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer with SpaceOAR® Hydrogel

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the New York area and are concerned about accidental damage to the rectum that can be a side effect of radiation therapy, the use of the SpaceOAR Hydrogel rectal spacer can help alleviate your concerns. Prostate cancer radiation therapy specialist Hillel Marans can help you determine if SpaceOAR Hydrogel may help eliminate or reduce damage to your rectum and possibly enhance radiation treatment to the prostate by better targeting the cancer.

Dr. Hillel Marans is a board-certified urologist that is highly trained in the SpaceOAR procedure for men with prostate cancer. With over 34 years of experience treating men in the New York City area, Dr. Marans can answer all of your prostate cancer treatment questions. Call (212) 206-9130 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marans today!

Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in American men, with a majority of cases appearing in males over the age of 65. Prostate Cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in men, behind skin cancer.4

As with many different forms of cancer, medical professionals will typically recommend a treatment plan with one treatment method or a combination of treatment methods. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer, the most common treatment options are radiation therapy, active surveillance, and surgery (prostatectomy). Additional prostate cancer treatments may include hormone therapy, chemotherapy, cryotherapy and immunotherapy. Radiation therapy is usually delivered in targeted, high doses to aggressively attack the cancer and destroy it as quickly as possible before it spreads to other areas of the prostate or body. Radiation therapy is extremely effective in targeting and treating prostate cancer, but as with any procedure there are potential side effects.

What are the Side Effects of Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy is extremely effective in targeting and treating prostate cancer, but as with any procedure there are potential side effects. These side effects can be mild and go away on their own, but for some patients they can last for years after treatment is completed and can have a negative impact on quality of life. Side effects can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal pain and bleeding
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Urinary urgency and leakage
  • Erectile dysfunction

What is SpaceOAR® Hydrogel?

SpaceOAR hydrogel is an option for men who undergo radiation treatment for prostate cancer. It acts as a spacer providing space between the rectum and the prostate, making it much less likely that the rectum is exposed to radiation. It is injected into place prior to the start of radiation treatment. Patients may be awake or asleep under general anesthesia for the procedure. SpaceOAR hydrogel is minimally invasive, remains stable during radiation therapy and then is gradually absorbed by the body after radiation therapy has been completed.

When Should you Consider the SpaceOAR Hydrogel?

You should speak with Dr. Marans about SpaceOAR Hydrogel if you have chosen external beam radiation therapy as the primary treatment for your prostate cancer.

How Does SpaceOAR work?

SpaceOAR Hydrogel can be placed as an outpatient procedure in a hospital, surgery center, outpatient clinic or at Dr. Marans’ office prior to the start of radiation treatment. It is typically not a lengthy procedure. The SpaceOAR Hydrogel is injected as liquid through a small needle inserted between the rectum and the prostate. Dr. Marans will use ultrasound imaging to ensure correct placement. SpaceOAR Hydrogel can be implanted under local, regional or general anesthesia. You should discuss with your doctor which type of anesthesia will work best for you.

SpaceOAR Hydrogel stays in place, separating your prostate and rectum, for about 3 months. After about 6 months, the hydrogel is naturally absorbed into the body and removed in your urine.

What to Expect after Procedure?

SpaceOAR is performed without sedation in the outpatient setting after a local injection of numbing medication. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes in our NYC office. At the end of the procedure, you may experience mild pain and/or numbness behind the scrotum, as well some urgency to urinate with reduced strength of the urine stream. These symptoms typically improve over the first few days.

What are the Results?

Prostate Cancer Therapy Side Effects NYC

SpaceOAR Hydrogel has been evaluated in many clinical studies and shown to be effective in reducing radiation to organs at risk. In the U.S., 222 prostate cancer patients participated in a multi-center, randomized, patient-blinded clinical study. Study results showed that the hydrogel was safe and effective. The average SpaceOAR Hydrogel study patient gained ½ inch (1.3 cm) of space between the prostate and rectum, and had significant reduction in radiation dose to the rectum resulting in significantly fewer rectal side effects. 2 Three years after treatment, patients from the study were asked to report on their quality of life for bowel, urinary and sexual functions. These patient-reported outcomes showed that SpaceOAR Hydrogel patients experienced significantly fewer long-term rectal side effects, were more likely to maintain sexual function, and showed significantly lower decline in patient reported urinary and bowel quality of life. 2,3 To read the peer-reviewed clinical studies and other publications, click here.


1. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. American Cancer Society. Accessed February 20, 2020.
2. Hamstra DA, Mariados N, Sylvester J, et al. Continued benefit to rectal separation for prostate radiation therapy: Final results of a phase III trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Apr 1;97(5):976-85.
3. Hamstra DA, Mariados N, Sylvester J, et al. Sexual quality of life following prostate intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a rectal/prostate spacer: Secondary analysis of a phase 3 trial. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2018 Jan – Feb;8(1):e7-e15.

4. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. American Cancer Society. Accessed February 20, 2020.

View important safety information here. Caution: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician. Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.

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