Stereotactic Radiosurgery: radiation therapy (e.g., gamma knife, LINAC) used to treat brain tumors and other conditions.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is typically a one-session treatment but sometimes it can be a staged procedure. One-session treatment delivers a high dose of radiation in a single, one-day session. This session can last from less than one hour to four hours, depending on the size and location of the affected area. A staged treatment (known as Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery of FSR) delivers the total dose of radiation in several smaller doses on different days. Despite its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is not a surgery in the conventional sense. It is a treatment, not a surgical procedure, because no incision is required.
Gamma knife and Linear Accelerator (LINAC) are two specific types of stereotactic radiosurgery.
Patients who have abnormal blood vessels in their brains may need this treatment. Examples of abnormal vessels include arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), trigeminal neuralgia and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). It's also utilized for patients with brain tumors, acoustic neuromas, pituitary tumors, and brain metastases.
Radiotherapy is used when tumors are deep within the brain and difficult to remove via surgery. It's suggested for patients who cannot have surgery (e.g., the elderly, or those too weak or sick). Also, it is can be used after conventional surgery to treat any remaining abnormal tissues.
The following steps outline a stereotactic radiosurgery procedure:
The patient may be given medication if they experience nausea or headache.
After an hour, most patients can go home, and is free to drink and eat. However, some patients may need to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring.
Most patients resume their normal routines the day after radiosurgery, unless there are complications (e.g., swelling).