CyberKnife Treatment Process
The CyberKnife process has four steps, which require close collaboration among the CyberKnife team, the patient and his or her personal physician.
A radiation oncologist is involved with every patient’s CyberKnife treatment. Depending on the area of the body to be treated, your physician team also may include a neurosurgeon and/or interventional radiologist.
Step 1. Consultation
Participating Team Members
Patient, Physician(s), Nurse, Patient Services Coordinator, Financial Counselor, Scheduler
You will learn about various treatment options that are available to you, including CyberKnife. If you are having a video consultation, please prepare with the following checklist of items we will need from you prior to your video consultation with us.
- Demographic information (legal name, etc.)
- Insurance information
Ask your physician(s) to provide:
- Pertinent lab results (All-full history)
- Biopsy report
- Pathology report
- Chart notes/progress notes
- Imaging scans
- Imaging reports
Insurance verification and pre-authorization
Once you decide on CyberKnife, our financial counselor will verify your insurance coverage and, if it’s required, will request pre-authorization. This usually takes 5-14 days, or possibly up to 30 days. This is a good time for you to contact your insurance company to ask how much of the bill your health insurance will cover, and how much will be your responsibility.
Next we will schedule the planning appointment. Our scheduler will work closely with you to find a convenient time.
Step 2. Planning
5 days – 2 week
Participating Team Members
Patient, Physician(s), Medical Physicist, Radiation Therapist, Scheduler
As soon as your insurance company authorizes the treatment, our scheduler will contact you to make an appointment for a planning CT, MRI and/or PET CT scan. The images will help your doctor fully visualize the area to be treated and the nearby critical anatomy.
Treatment for tumors in some parts of the body may require additional preparations, such as fiducial placement and mask, which will also be scheduled at this time. For CyberKnife Prostate patients, please follow the Low Gas Diet the full day prior to your imaging scans.
After your imaging appointment, you will return home while your treatment plan is being prepared.
Creating the treatment plan
Using the images and the CyberKnife System’s treatment planning computer, the radiation oncologist will identify the exact size, shape and location of the tumor. The radiation oncologist and a medical physicist will create a personalized treatment plan that will provide the desired radiation dose to the correct location, while avoiding damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Step 3. Treatment
Usually 1-5 treatments (30-90 minutes per treatment)Participating Team Members
Patient, Physician(s), Medical Physicist, Nurse, Radiation Therapist, Patient Services CoordinatorTreatment
When your personalized treatment plan has been prepared, the scheduler will contact you to make your first appointment for treatment. Usually there are between one and five treatments on different days. For CyberKnife Prostate patients, please follow the Low Gas Diet the full day prior to and during CyberKnife treatment.
During treatment you will lie comfortably on the treatment table listening to music of your choice, while the computer-controlled robotic arm moves around you delivering radiation beams according to your personal treatment plan. The same process will occur during each of your treatment appointments.
After your treatment, you will be able to leave and return to your regular activities.
Step 4. Follow Up
One or more clinic appointments (15-30 minutes each)Participating Team Members
Patient, Physician(s), Nurse, Patient Services CoordinatorFollow-Up Appointments
Our patient services coordinator will arrange follow-up appointments so we can track your progress. Your doctor(s) will determine the number and frequency of these appointments.
During the months following your treatment, your doctor(s) also may ask us to schedule CT, MRI or other imaging to assess the response to treatment.