Stereotactic radiosurgery is a technique to treat brain disorders. It uses a highly focused beam of radiation to target specific areas of the brain. The beam of radiation destroys the tissue that a doctor would otherwise have removed with a scalpel during an operation.
Treatment involves a team of specialists, including:
Stereotactic radiosurgery is used to:
If you are planning to have stereotactic radiosurgery, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Rare complications may include:
Although the risk for complications is low, advanced age, chronic medical conditions, previous surgeries, or previous radiation at or near the target site may increase the risk for complications.
Your doctor may do the following:
Your doctor may ask if you:
Leading up to your procedure:
The day before your procedure:
The day of your procedure:
There are three types of stereotactic radiosurgery:
The procedure will be done using 201 beams of highly focused gamma rays. It is used to treat smaller brain tumors and functional brain disorders. The Gamma Knife is the most well-known machine used for this procedure.
There are four phases to this treatment:
This treatment utilizes one large, powerful radiation beam. It is used to treat small and large brain tumors. You will go through the same phases listed above. During radiation delivery, however, part of the machine will move around you. The treatment couch will also be repositioned. Some newer systems can also deliver radiation to tumors of the spinal cord.
CyberKnife treatment is given using a small linear accelerator mounted on a robotic arm. It is used to treat tumors and lesions of the brain and spine. No head frame is used.
There are three phases to treatment:
If you received Gamma Knife or LINAC-based treatment:
When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Stereotactic radiosurgery works over time. It may take several months to several years to see results.
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, CALL 911.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
International Radiosurgical Association
The CyberKnife. University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery website. Available at: http://www.neurosurgery.pitt.edu/spine/cyberknife.html. Accessed October 4, 2005.
CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery system. Georgetown University Hospital website. Available at: http://www.georgetownuniversityhospital.org/body.cfm?id=451. Accessed October 4, 2005.
CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery system overview. CyberKnife Society website. Available at: http://www.cksociety.org/PatientInfo/radiosurgery.asp#cyberknife_radiosugery. Accessed October 4, 2005.
Information for patients. Yale-New Haven Hospital Gamma Knife Center website. Available at: http://www.ynhh.org/gammaknife/infopatients.html#after. Accessed September 10, 2005.
Linear accelerator. RadilogyInfo website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/pdf/linac.pdf. Accessed September 9, 2005.
Stereotactic radiosurgery. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org/what/patient_e/stereotactic.asp. Accessed September 9, 2005.
Stereotactic radiosurgery. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://mayoclinic.org/stereotactic-radiosurgery/index.html. Accessed September 9, 2005.
Stereotactic radiosurgery overview. International Radiosurgical Association website. Available at: http://www.irsa.org/radiosurgery.html. Accessed September 1, 2005.
Stereotactic radiosurgery questions and answers. International Radiosurgical Association website. Available at: http://www.irsa.org/qa.html. Accessed September 9, 2005.
What is stereotactic radiosurgery? University of Iowa Department of Radiation Oncology Virtual Hospital website. Available at: http://www.vh.org/adult/patient/radiationoncology/guide/04understanding.html. Accessed September 9, 2005.
What is stereotactic radiosurgery and how is it used? RadiologyInfo website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/content/therapy/stereotactic.htm. Accessed September 1, 2005.
Last reviewed November 2009 by
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