Glendale Adventist Medical Center - Adventist Health
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Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program

As technology moves forward to minimally invasive therapy for the brain and spine, GAMC is proud to offer a Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program for brain and spinal lesions.

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) was originally defined and utilized in the 1950s by Lars Leskell, a Swedish neurosurgeon. It uses high dose focused radiation beams delivered to a specific area of the brain to treat abnormalities, tumors or other functional disorders. It is an outpatient procedure.

Patients go home after the treatment and return to activities of daily living. Treatment is based on exact calculation and targeting. Since the 1950s, advances in the delivery systems for radiation have improved tumor control rates due to the fact that higher doses of radiation are delivered focally, sparing surrounding, normal tissues. It is used as a primary treatment for some lesions and as adjunct treatment for residual tumors. The treatment may be single dose or multiple doses depending on the size and location of the tumor.

Indications for stereotactic radiosurgery are:

  • Benign brain tumors including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, pineal and pituitary tumors, craniopharyngiomas and schwanommas.
  • All malignant brain tumors including: glial and astrocytomas, low grade tumors, metastatic brain tumors.
  • Cerebrovascular disorders: arteriovenous malformation and angiomas.
  • Functional disorders including: trigeminal neuralgia, essential tremor, Parkinson's tremor/rigidity.
  • Current research areas include epilepsy, headaches and neuro-psycho disorder.

Gamma knife is a well-known term for stereotactic radiosurgery. However, gamma knife is just one of the treatment systems or delivery systems. Another delivery system is the linear accelerator, which is used at GAMC.

Comparison Between Open Surgery and Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Open Surgery

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Technology 

Open surgery with scalpel and
neuro-navigational equipment 

High doses of focused radiation

Results

Complete removal or partial removal of lesion

Destruction of tumor cells,
preventing growth, shrinkage or disappearance of tumor without surgery

Hospital Stay

3-5 days or more

Generally an outpatient
procedure with 1-5 treatment
sessions running from
30 to 60 minutes each

Recovery time

2-4 weeks 

Return to normal activities
in 24-72 hours

Potential Side Effects

Infection, hemorrhage, damage
to healthy surrounding tissues
 of structures resulting in neuro
deficits, even death

Swelling, damage to healthy tissues or structures

Click here to download our Health Connections brochure entitled, "Understanding Stereotactic Breast Biopsy".