Radiation therapy is one of the most common cancer treatments, and new technological advancements have made therapies more precise – offering greater effectiveness and fewer risks to healthy tissues and organs. One of these therapies, known as stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), targets tumors with precisely focused, high-dose radiation beams – damaging the tumor but not surrounding tissue.
Baptist Health is nationally recognized for excellence in cancer care. We offer a comprehensive oncology program, including advanced treatments like SRS. Best of all, you’ll appreciate convenient appointment times, a location near you and a personalized focus to meet your needs before, during and after your procedure.
What Is SRS?
SRS delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the tumor, vascular anomaly or problematic nerve, causing it to shrink and/or cutting off its blood supply over time. There are no incisions. It’s a very precise form of radiation therapy that causes no or minimal damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the targeted area.
What Can SRS Accomplish?
Using a computer-controlled system to deliver precise radiation doses to a cancerous or noncancerous tumor, or some blood vessel malformations and troublesome nerve roots, SRS targets a specific area with high-dose radiation, sparing surrounding tissue. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments.
SRS is frequently used to treat cancerous and noncancerous tumors of the brain, ear, pituitary gland, liver and spine. It can also be used to treat painful nerve roots associated with the chronic pain condition known as trigeminal neuralgia, nerves associated with tremors and arteriovenous malformations – abnormal tangles of arteries and veins in the brain.
- Deliver targeted radiation to tumors and other anomalies, sparing surrounding tissue from radiation damage
- Cause fewer side effects, helping people return to normal, everyday activities faster
What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
Your SRS treatment will likely be outpatient, performed outside the hospital. Treatment may take minutes to hours, depending on your tumor site and type.
Some tumors may require marker placement by your surgeon before the radiation procedure. If needed, these markers will be placed several days or weeks before your radiation treatment. Some tumors won’t require these markers and only require CT image guidance during SRS treatment. Your physician can explain which procedure you will need.
On the day of your treatment, you’ll lie on a treatment table or bed. The CyberKnife robot will move to target all sides of the tumor. You will need to be very still for SRS to be effective. You may be fitted with a mask to help you remain still during the treatment.
You shouldn’t feel any pain during SRS. Your radiation therapist will leave the room during treatment but will observe you and be able to talk to you throughout.
Most people undergoing SRS can return home right after treatment.
SRS Possible Risks
SRS is far less risky than traditional surgery or conventional radiation treatments because it involves no incisions and targets the tumor precisely. Possible risks, or side effects, may include:
- Mouth or throat dryness or soreness
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Scalp irritation or hair loss
- Swelling at or near the treatment site
Next Steps with MyChart
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