What is stereotactic radiosurgery?
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a highly precise form of radiation therapy used primarily to treat tumors and other abnormalities of the brain. Despite its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical procedure that uses highly focused x-rays to treat certain types of tumors, inoperable lesions and as a post-operative treatment to eliminate any leftover tumor tissue.
The treatment involves the delivery of a single high-dose—or sometimes smaller, multiple doses—of radiation beams that converge on the specific area of the brain where the tumor or other abnormality resides. Using a helmet-like device that keeps the head completely still and three-dimensional computer-aided planning software, stereotactic radiosurgery minimizes the amount of radiation to healthy brain tissue.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is an important alternative to invasive surgery, especially for tumors and blood vessel abnormalities located deep within or close to vital areas of the brain. Radiosurgery is used to treat many types of brain tumors, both benign or malignant and primary or metastatic. Additionally, radiosurgery is used to treat arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), a tangle of expanded blood vessels that disrupts normal blood flow in the brain and is the leading cause of stroke in young people.
Although stereotactic radiosurgery is often completed in a one-day session, physicians sometimes recommend a fractionated treatment, in which treatments are given over a period of days or weeks. This is referred to as stereotactic radiotherapy.
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. Following the treatment, benign tumors usually shrink over a period of 18 months to two years. Malignant and metastatic tumors may shrink more rapidly, even within a couple of months. When treated with radiosurgery, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) begin to thicken and close off.
How is the procedure performed?
Stereotactic Radiosurgery Using the Gamma Knife
Gamma Knife radiosurgery involves four phases: placement of the head frame, imaging of tumor location, computerized dose planning, and radiation delivery.
In the first phase, a box-shaped head frame is attached to your skull using specially designed pins to keep your head from moving until the treatment session is finished. This lightweight aluminum head frame is a guiding device that makes sure the Gamma Knife beams are focused exactly where the treatment is needed.
Next, you will be taken to an imaging area where a computed tomography (CT) scan and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be performed to show the exact location of the tumor in relation to the head frame.
During the next phase, you will be able to relax for an hour or two while your treatment team performs a computer-aided treatment plan that will optimally radiate the tumor.
Next, you will lie down on the Gamma Knife bed where your physician will describe the number and length of treatments to expect. Your head frame will then be attached to a helmet that has several hundred holes in it to allow individual rays of radiation to target specific areas of the brain.
The treatment team will then go to another room so that your treatment can begin. You will be able to talk to your physician through a microphone in the helmet and a camera will allow the team to see you at all times. The bed you are lying on will move backward into the treatment area. You may hear a chime at this point and a click as the helmet locks into the radiation source. When the treatment is complete, the bed will return to its original position. The total treatment may last two to four hours. Once your treatment is completed, your head frame will be removed.
Radiosurgery Using the Linear Accelerator
Linear accelerator (LINAC) radiosurgery is similar to the Gamma Knife procedure and its four phases: head frame placement, imaging, computerized dose planning and radiation delivery. Unlike the Gamma Knife, which remains motionless during the procedure, part of the LINAC machine called a gantry rotates around the patient, delivering radiation beams from different angles. Compared to the Gamma Knife, the LINAC is able to use a larger x-ray beam, which enables it to treat larger tumors more uniformly and with less repositioning.
India, which is one of the most sought after medical tourism destinations in the world, has patients from over 60 counties getting stereotactic radiosurgery in various hospitals at Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Reasons varying from lower cost of Stereotactic radiosurgery in India and shorter waiting period for surgeries are cited as reasons for India becoming a hot destination for the health tourists, mainly from the West and Gulf. Stereotactic radiosurgery in India offers remarkable cost savings. The savings are a function of where you travel for surgery. India is currently one of the cheapest places for stereotactic radiosurgery in the world. With the cost savings you can visit to the various exotic tourist locations. India is a heritage country there are many things to explore, most of the international patients choose India for their treatment so that they can visit the famous tourist places after their surgery. For more details on Stereotactic radiosurgery in India visit http://www.forerunnershealthcare.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
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