Stereotactic radiosurgery is a type of non-surgical radiation therapy used to treat functional abnormalities and small brain tumors. X-rays are carefully focused on abnormal tissues from various directions. These X-ray beams destroy the cells in abnormal locations, and the abnormal tissue becomes inactive and shrinks over time. It's a very precise radiation therapy that causes less damage to healthy tissues and lowers the chance of infection. It is beneficial for treating tumors that are small or difficult to reach. Stereostatic body radiosurgery is a type of radiosurgery that is used to treat cancers in soft tissues all over the body.
Alternate Name of Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Stereotaxic radiosurgery, Radiation surgery, Radiosurgery, Fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery, Staged radiosurgery
Stereotactic radiosurgery allows the treatment of functional abnormalities and small tumors of the brain and soft tissues like the neck, lungs, liver, spine, and other parts of the body.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery Procedure
The treatment is usually done in an outpatient facility and takes several hours to complete. The session includes preparation for the procedure, treatment, and post-procedure observation. The treatment takes around 1-2 hours, and the patient must remain still during that period. A lightweight frame is attached to the patient's head with four pins before the process begins to maintain it completely still. Following that, imaging scans of the brain (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and/or computed tomography [CT]) will be performed to predict the position of the tumor or other anomalies. The equipment will deliver the X-ray doses that have been programmed. When the patient is at ease, he or she is allowed to return home. Children are frequently anesthetized throughout the surgery, whereas adults are normally awake.
Preparation for Stereotactic Radiosurgery
- Preparation for stereotactic radiosurgery involves several steps:
- Before beginning treatment, radiation experts spend roughly two weeks planning.
- Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing should be worn.
- Wearing jewelry, eyeglasses, contact lenses, makeup, nail polish, dentures, and wigs or hairpieces should be avoided
- Precautions must be taken regarding medications, implantation, and allergies before therapy.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery Procedure Type
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-invasive procedure that does not require an incision into the body or the removal of tissue.
Follow-up After Stereotactic Radiosurgery
The patient will meet with the radiation oncologist for follow-up appointments about one month after the procedure. Roughly six months following the procedure, the patient will undergo imaging tests to determine the effectiveness of the radiation. Additionally, any radiation allergies or side effects, which are uncommon, can be recognized.
Benefits of Stereotactic Radiosurgery
- Radiosurgery has a lower risk of side effects compared with other traditional surgeries or radiation therapy.
- It is a painful and non-invasive technique.
- This therapy can reach the deepest recesses of the brain, allowing it to cure diseases that are not curable with traditional surgery.
- It is a very accurate method that exactly targets the tumor to keep the damage to the surrounding tissues to a minimum.
- The technique is suitable for tumors that are difficult to approach or are located near vital organs.
- Each session only takes a few minutes.
- It can treat several tumors simultaneously at once
Risks of Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Stereotactic radiosurgery has fewer and milder side effects, which are short and resolved in a relatively short time. Fatigue, swelling at the treatment site, skin irritation at the treatment site, scalp and hair difficulties at the treatment site, headache, numbness/tingling or weakness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea are some of the symptoms that can occur. The majority of side effects, on the other hand, fade away once therapy is ended.
Recovery after Stereotactic Radiosurgery
After the treatment, the neurology and neurosurgery team will continue to monitor with follow-up. Most patients can return to their usual activities within one or two days of the following day of treatment.
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