Stereotactic Radiosurgery - Omaha, Nebraska - CHI Health

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

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Stereotactic RadiosurgeryStereotactic 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 is needed.

CT Scan
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 frame.

Treatment Planning
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 treatment

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.