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Joint Commission International.
Joint Commission International.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

(SRS) treats brain disorders with a precise delivery of a single, high dose of radiation in a one-day session. Focused radiation beams are delivered to a specific area of the brain to treat abnormalities, tumors or functional disorders.

Fractionated stereotactic radiation treatments which are received over a period of days or weeks may be administered to the body with the assistance of removable masks and frames that achieve a lesser degree of immobilization. Stereotactic radiosurgery is limited to the head and neck, because these areas can be immobilized with skeletal fixation devices that completely restrict the head’s movement, permitting the most precise and accurate treatment.

Surgery :

Radiosurgery (one-session treatment) has such a dramatic effect in the target zone that the changes are considered “surgical.” Through the use of three-dimensional computer-aided planning and the high degree of immobilization, the treatment can minimize the amount of radiation that passes through healthy brain tissue. Stereotactic radiosurgery is routinely used to treat brain tumors and lesions. It may be the primary treatment, used when a tumor is inaccessible by surgical means; or as a boost or adjunct to other treatments for a recurring or malignant tumor.

How it Works :

Stereotactic radiosurgery works the same as all other forms of radiation treatment. It does not remove the tumor or lesion, but it distorts the DNA of the tumor cells. The cells then lose their ability to reproduce and retain fluids. The tumor reduction occurs at the rate of normal growth for the specific tumor cell.

In lesions such as AVMs (a tangle of blood vessels in the brain), radiosurgery causes the blood vessels to thicken and close off. The shrinking of a tumor or closing off of a vessel occurs over a period of time. For benign tumors and vessels, this will usually be 18 months to two years. For malignant or metastatic tumors, results may be seen in a few months, because these cells are very fast-growing.

Indications :

Stereotactic radiosurgery may or may not be appropriate for a condition. It may be used as the primary treatment or recommended in addition to other treatments that are needed. Only a treating neurosurgeon who operates radiosurgery equipment can make the evaluation as to whether someone can be treated. A neurosurgeon must always be present during treatment and should work with a radiation oncologist when the brain is being targeted. Some of the most common indications for treatment are:

  • Arteriovenous Malformations

All benign brain tumors including :

  • Acoustic Neuromas
  • Meningiomas
  • Pineal and Pituitary Tumors

All Malignant Brain Tumors including :

  • Glial Tumors and Astrocytomas
  • Low grade tumors
  • Metastatic Brain Tumors

Functional disorders including :

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Essential Tremor
  • Parkinson’s Tremor/Rigidity