Stereotactic radiosurgery, also known as SRS, is a form of radiation therapy that is used to treat brain tumors and a variety of other neurological conditions. SRS is a non-invasive treatment that delivers a highly focused beam of radiation to a specific location in the brain.
There are several different types of SRS treatments including:
- Gamma Knife
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is one of the most common forms of SRS. It uses a machine that is equipped with many small beams of radiation to target a specific area in the brain. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is typically used to treat small to medium-sized brain tumors.
- CyberKnife Radiosurgery
CyberKnife radiosurgery is similar to Gamma Knife, however, it uses a robotic arm to deliver the radiation, allowing for better flexibility. CyberKnife is typically used to treat larger or irregularly shaped tumors, as well as tumors located in areas that are difficult to reach with traditional radiation therapy.
- Linear Accelerator
LINAC or linear accelerator radiosurgery uses machinery that moves around the patient to administer high-energy x-rays. It is used to treat large tumors.
Benefits of SRS treatment include:
- Precise Radiation Therapy – By administering an exact dosage of radiation to the exact target location, SRS minimizes radiation exposure to surrounding areas that are still healthy. This can help cut down on side effects as well as potential complications associated with radiation therapy.
- Non-Invasive Treatment – SRS is non-surgical and therefore a non-invasive treatment when compared to surgical methods of brain tumor removal.
- Quick Recovery Time – SRS is often completed in one session reducing overall treatment time and allowing patients to return to their day-to-day lives quickly.
What to Expect During Treatment:
If you have been recommended for SRS, you may be wondering what to expect during the procedure. Here is an overview of what patients can expect during stereotactic radiosurgery:
Prior to treatment, initial imaging tests will likely be performed to give doctors a better idea of the placement and magnitude of brain tumors. A physical exam as well as blood tests may also be administered to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo radiation.
A head frame is typically attached to the head to ensure accurate results. Once the head frame is in place, your doctor will perform additional imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans to determine the exact location and size of any tumors. Afterward, patients are moved to a treatment table where radiation machinery is used to deliver focused beams of radiation to the target area.
Patients are monitored for a short period of time to ensure there are no complications. Depending on the type of SRS treatment, you may be able to go home the same day. In the weeks following SRS treatment, side effects such as nausea, fatigue, and headache are treated with medication.
Why Choose NGHS
Stereotactic radiosurgery offers a safe and effective treatment for patients with brain tumors. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a brain tumor or other neurological problem, talk to your doctor about whether SRS may be an appropriate treatment option for you. Northeast Georgia Health System provides treatments using the latest technology as well as advanced radiation therapy providing comprehensive neurological care. Contact us today and learn more about our available treatments.