If you have cancer, stereotactic radiosurgery may be a treatment option when your doctor determines that surgery or other radiation therapies cannot be used. At Swedish, we use radiosurgery to treat cancer, benign tumors, and several neurological disorders, such as arteriovenous malformations, trigeminal neuralgia and tremor.
Stereotactic radiosurgery, despite its name, is a non-surgical procedure that uses precisely targeted radiation. With radiosurgery there is no scalpel, no general anesthesia, no hospital stay and no lengthy recovery time.
Patients usually wear street clothes during their treatments and return to their normal activities when their treatments have been completed.
Many patients may benefit from having stereotactic radiosurgery – either CyberKnife or Gamma Knife – including:
- Patients who have been told their tumors could not be removed by surgery, or the surgery would be too complicated or risky
- Patients who prefer an alternative to surgery
- Patients who prefer an alternative to conventional internal or external radiation therapy
- Patients who have had a tumor removed previously and do not want to have another surgery to remove a recurrent or residual tumor
- Patients who have received the maximum allowable dose of radiation through traditional radiation therapy but still require treatment
CyberKnife uses a high-energy x-ray machine on a robotic arm to deliver radiation beams to target small and complex tumors anywhere in the body. Cyberknife precisely targets the tumor, adjusting robotically in real time to tumor or patient movement. This treatment provides exceptional outcomes, fewer side effects, and short treatment courses - leading to a better quality of life, during and after treatment.
Real time patient monitoring allows for accurate dose delivery to the target area with minimal exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. This is particularly beneficial in the treatment of lung, breast, liver, pancreas, kidney and other abdominal or thoracic tumors that move when the patient breathes. Learn more about the CyberKnife treatment process.
The Gamma Knife delivers 192 beams of radiation from multiple angles to a specific target with pinpoint accuracy while avoiding damage to the surrounding tissue through which the beams travel. Patients are treated in an outpatient setting during a single treatment session with minimal, if any side effects.
Our radiosurgery team uses Gamma Knife to specifically treat cancer of the brain, and the head and neck, and may also be used to treat neurological conditions, such as arteriovenous malformations, essential tremor and trigeminal neuralgia.