Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
With stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), your radiation oncologist can apply precise and intense dosages of radiation with millimeter accuracy. SRS allows doctors to treat tumors in sensitive areas like the brain up to 75 percent faster than comparable systems for treatment delivery and without a need for anesthesia, offering patients quicker recovery times and improved outcomes.
Despite being called radiosurgery, SRS is a non-surgical high-precision radiation therapy that uses high doses of radiation to small targeted sites. SRS is used mainly for the treatment of various brain tumors including metastatic tumors, benign conditions and abnormal blood vessel formations.
The treatment makes use of a stereotactic frame to help position the head and keep it from moving while radiation is administered. The approach helps spare the patient from invasive and often painful alternate procedures. When used in conjunction with high precision image guidance and patient positioning systems, SRS is a safe and effective treatment option for patients.
Stereotactic radiosurgery does not involve an incision and is relatively painless. Treatment of each tumor takes less than 30 minutes so patients return home the same day and can return to work the following day.
Before treatment sessions take place, you lie on a table with your head positioned within the stereotactic frame. The frame fits like a helmet and keeps you from moving to ensure precise delivery of radiation.
Each radiation therapy session runs like a CT or MRI scan. Your radiotherapist positions you on the treatment table surrounded by the medical linear accelerator. Once the machine is ready to deliver the radiation, your radiation therapist will exit the room.
As with all radiotherapeutic cancer treatments, there are risks of side effects. Undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery may include dryness or itching of the skin over the target, soreness, nausea and dizziness. Despite this, each radiation session is quick and pain-free.