Stereotactic Radiosurgery
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Stereotactic Radiosurgery?

SRS works over time. It may take several months to several years to see results.

  • About one month after your procedure, your doctor will check your pin sites and perform a neurological exam.
  • CT scans or MRIs will likely be performed sometime after the procedure to assess for treatment effect. The number of scans and frequency with which you get them depends on your doctor’s opinion and experience.
  • If you were treated for an AVM, you will have a test called a cerebral angiogram two to three years after treatment to determine if treatment was successful.
  • In many cases, SRS treatments can be performed again, if necessary.

SRS is used to:

  • Stop cancerous and noncancerous tumor growth
  • Shrink cancerous and noncancerous tumors
  • Close off arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)—abnormal blood vessels that disrupt blood flow to the brain
  • Treat disorders such as:
  • Trigeminal neuralgia —a condition that causes facial pain
  • Epilepsy —a disorder that causes seizures

Brain Tumor
Brain Tumor
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Possible Complications

If you are planning to have SRS, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Headache
  • Temporary swelling at the treatment site (may be associated with worsening of symptoms)
  • Swelling, numbness, bleeding, or tingling around the sites where the head frame rests on the head
  • Skin irritation
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Patchy hair loss from the radiation
  • Permanent injury to the location in the brain being treated

Rare complications may include:

  • Vision loss
  • Deafness
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve problems

Although the risk for complications is low, advanced age, chronic medical conditions, previous surgeries, or previous radiation at or near the target site may increase the risk for complications.