While it may sound like a serious procedure, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is actually a form of radiology treatment. You won’t have to undergo anesthesia and no incisions will be made on your body. Instead, a robotic arm controlled by a computer will focus radiation on the precise area being treated. The treatment may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and while you may need several treatment sessions, you usually won’t need anything in excess of five visits.
SRS targets and treats an abnormal area without damaging nearby healthy tissue. This makes it an ideal option for patients who aren’t candidates for cranial surgery, or may be too high risk for a surgical operation. At Athens Brain & Spine, we use stereotactic radiosurgery as treatment for brain tumors, acoustic neuromas, and trigeminal neuralgia. The goal of stereotactic radiosurgery is to deliver the maximum dose of radiation with minimal leakage to surrounding tissues in order to destroy the tumor and achieve permanent local control.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a rare chronic pain condition that causes spasms of pain across the face of affected individuals. Thanks to the technology of SRS, we can safely and effectively treat trigeminal neuralgia with minimal invasiveness. We also use stereotactic radiosurgery as treatment for brain tumors, allowing us to target and eliminate large or high-risk tumors without surgery.
SRS is noninvasive and completely painless, much like receiving an x-ray. After the treatment, you may experience some numbness or possibly headaches, for which we will provide medication if requested. In most cases, you should be able to resume normal daily activities within one to two days of the treatment, and most side effects should be easily managed. These side effects may be early, showing up during or immediately after treatment, and some may be late, occurring months or even years after treatment. Potential early side effects include tiredness, skin sensitivity, hair loss, and headaches. Late side effects may include changes in your brain or spinal cord, or even cancer. Because cancer is a potential risk of radiation therapy, we recommend regular check ups for new or recurring cancer.