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This page contains information and frequently asked questions on the use of endorectal balloons during external beam radiation therapy for men with prostate cancer. We hope it will provide general information on what to expect and an indication of a typical treatment process.

What is the Prostate Caddy™?

The Prostate Caddy™ is a prostate immobilization device often referred to as a rectal balloon. It is used during external beam radiation therapy for men with prostate cancer.

How will the Prostate Caddy™ benefit me?

The Prostate Caddy™ helps to immobilize the prostate during daily treatment. By decreasing the prostate’s motion, the radiation treatment can be more precisely and reproducibly delivered to the prostate, where the cancer resides (3).

The Prostate Caddy™ may be thought of as a “rectum protection device” (RPD).

With less prostate motion, smaller treatment volumes can be utilized by your physician resulting in less radiation to the normal areas around the prostate (2). In addition, the patented longitudinally and rotationally symmetric design of the Prostate Caddy™ allows for much of the rectum to be displaced further from the prostate and the irradiated area. With the use of a rectal balloon, rectal and bowel side effects have been shown to be significantly reduced (1).

Are there any adverse effects associated with the Prostate Caddy™?

Temporary patient discomfort is the most commonly reported complication. Studies suggest 3-5% of patients undergoing radiation therapy do not tolerate endorectal devices (4). This discomfort is temporary and typically resolves with lower balloon volume or balloon removal.

Is the Prostate Caddy™ comfortable?

The Prostate Caddy™ is very well tolerated by patients (4). It is small and soft, not much larger then a rectal thermometer. After careful insertion, it is gently filled with a small amount of air or water. To keep patient discomfort to a minimum, the Prostate Caddy™ has a soft rounded tip and a small, seamless design.

How often will I have to use the Prostate Caddy™?

For the maximum benefit, the Prostate Caddy™ is used for treatment planning and each radiation treatment (1). The radiation therapist will follow your doctor’s prescription to insert and fill the RPD during each daily radiation treatment. It is carefully removed and discarded after each use.

Are there any contraindications to the use of the Prostate Caddy™?

Patients suffering from severe hemorrhoids, rectal fistulas, or bowel obstruction should avoid endorectal devices.
Ask your doctor which rectal protection strategy is best for you.