Radiosurgery is the treatment of tumors (malignant and benign) through non-invasive measures.

By: Thomas T. Wright


About Radiosurgery:

This treatment is typically conducted by radiation oncologists. These medical professionals access highly sophisticated, precise and complex medical instruments for the procedure: stereotactic devices, linear accelerators, computers, laser beams and the gamma knife. The radiation oncologist uses images (computer tomography or CT, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, and angiography) of the brain and body to deliver highly precise irradiation of specific targets for radiosurgery. Radiation is applied during the procedure from an external source controlled by a specialized apparatus that delivers precise mechanical orientation. Multiple beams are directed at the lesion being treated sparing healthy tissues surrounding the target area.

In Preparing for Radiosurgery:

Preparing for any surgery or serious medical treatment can result in stress for the patient. De-stressing in this type of situation can be difficult. It is often impossible to erase all signs of stress. But the overall stress levels can definitely be decreased by planning ahead. One major aspect of planning ahead for patients is to arrange for transport in advance. Consider transportation needs on both the planning day and the treatment day.

Recovery From Radiosurgery:

Patients can complete radiosurgery treatment within a one to five day period. The traditional treatment, craniotomy, requires an average hospital stay of 15 days. Craniotomy is a conventional form of neurosurgery requiring the surgeon to open the skull.

In addition to being less invasive than past procedures radiosurgery is also more cost effective. It also carries a much lower risk of fatal complications. The complications that are a risk post-surgically are also less common when compared to traditional surgical practices. The recovery time required is minimal. Many patients can even return to their normal activities on the day following treatment. There may be a small amount of bleeding at the point were the pins were attached for treatment. Pressure and gauze will be applied to stop bleeding as well as keep the surgical area clean. Some patients may require one staple or stitch. Some patients may experience headaches or nausea. Patients should take it easy for 1 to 2 days post-surgery.


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