Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a highly precise form of radiation therapy
used primarily to treat tumors and other abnormalities of the brain. SRS is a
non-surgical procedure that uses highly focused x-ray beams to treat certain types
of brain tumors, inoperable lesions, and as a post-operative treatment to eliminate
any remaining tumor tissue.
The treatment involves either the delivery of a single high dose or smaller, multiple
doses of radiation beams that are focused directly to the tumor or abnormality.
Using three-dimensional computer-aided planning software, stereotactic radiosurgery minimizes the amount of radiation to healthy brain tissue.
Stereotactic radiosurgery works in the same way as other forms of radiation treatment.
It does not actually remove the tumor; rather, it distorts the DNA of tumor cells.
As a result, these cells lose their ability to reproduce.
Advantages to SRS
The treatment is considered non-invasive, no incision is made
There is a decreased risk of infection due to the lack of an incision site
SRS is performed on an outpatient basis leaving the patient free to go
home after surgery
Ability to deliver higher doses of radiation to the brain tumor itself
with minimal risk to the healthy surrounding tissue
Disease control for those who are high surgical risk
No general anesthesia required
How is the Procedure Performed?
SRS is usually performed on an outpatient basis. You should plan to spend the
majority of your day at Immanuel Medical Center for the procedure. You will want
a family member or friend to accompany you the day of your treatment and to drive
you home following the procedure. Stereotactic Radiosurgery has four phases: head
frame placement, imaging (CT), computerized dose planning and radiation delivery.
Head Frame Placement
A specially designed frame is attached to your head, which serves as a guiding
device that makes sure the radiation beams are aimed precisely where the treatment
Next, you will be taken to an imaging area where a computed tomography (CT) scan
will be performed to show the exact location of the tumor in relation to the head
Your treatment team, consisting of a Neurosurgeon, Radiation Oncologist, Dosimetrist
and Physicist, will examine the CT scan and design a computer aided treatment
plan to optimally irradiate the tumor. This complex process may take two to five
hours to complete. During this time you will have a private room in the pre-operative
area of the hospital that is monitored by the pre-operative nurse and the Neuro-Oncology
Nurse Coordinator. You may relax, eat and watch television with friends and family
during this time.
Delivery of Treatment
Once the treatment plan is completed, you’ll be taken to the treatment room. A
team member will explain the treatment process and what to expect. During treatment
the staff will monitor you via a camera and intercom, and ensure that you are
comfortable. There is no pain or discomfort during the treatment. The length of
time needed for SRS varies depending on how many areas are being treated.
After SRS is complete, you will be taken back to the pre-operative area. Following
a period of observation and discharge education and instruction, you will be free
to go home accompanied by family or friend.