Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Tumors

Stereotactic Radiosurgery is an attractive therapy for treating lesions of the brain that are in surgically dangerous locations. The risk of complications is low and treatment is quick, often done on an outpatient basis. Stereotactic Radiosurgery is the delivery of a focused radiation dose to a specific target (lesion) while avoiding significant radiation exposure to surrounding structures.

Often, intracranial tumors, including primary brain tumors and metastatic tumors to the brain, can be treated with this technology. While these are the most common types of lesions treated with Stereotactic Radiosurgery, blood vessel abnormalities, such as arteriovenous malformations, may also benefit from treatment with this technology. In addition, trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain) that is not responsive to medical therapy is another condition that is has been successfully treated with this therapy.

Treatment is typically on an outpatient basis. After arriving at the hospital in the morning, you will be given local anesthesia to have a stereotactic head frame put in place by a neurosurgeon. Next, you receive a CT scan to confirm the location of the brain lesion. You return to your hospital room while a treatment plan is prepared by a team of physicians—a neurosurgeon, a radiation oncologist, and a radiation physicist. Together, they review the clinical information and decide on the radiation therapy. Treatment is then given, using a specially modified linear accelerator. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. After the treatment is completed, the head frame is removed. Following a short period of recovery, you are able to return home.

The Tallahassee Neurological Clinic, Department of Neurosurgery, in conjunction with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and the Department of Radiation Oncology, provides these treatments.


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