A doctor working with a patient undergoing a CT scan.

Cancer is a scary disease and the treatment options can be even more daunting. At Sierra Neurosurgery, we’re here to offer patients in the Reno/Tahoe area resources and guides to help you understand neurosurgical options and procedures to successfully treat a variety of neurological and spine problems.  If you’ve been recently diagnosed with brain cancer tumors, this blog post is for you. Our neurosurgeons who specialize in radiosurgery collaborate with the radiation oncologist and neuro-oncology team to evaluate your individual treatment needs.

What is Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Knowing what to expect from a certain brain tumor treatment makes it seem less scary. It gives you deeper insights about pre- and post-operative procedure timeline. Among the many procedures for treating brain tumor patients, stereotactic radiosurgery is a relatively newer and advanced form of treatment. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-invasive technique which doesn’t require any incisions or stitches.  We recommend you watch our video guides to learn more and help alleviate any anxiety before a radiosurgery appointment.

The therapy session utilizes specialized tools and equipment to administer a significant dose of radiation to a targeted area.

Why Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Brain stereotactic radiosurgery isn’t actually a traditional form of surgery due to its non-invasive nature. This technique is particularly popular for treating tumors that can’t be removed or are in a part of brain that can’t be surgically treated. The purpose of performing radiosurgery is to aim directly at the tumor in an effort to shrink cancer cells without harming healthy brain tissues.

Like other forms of radiotherapies, stereotactic radiosurgery works by targeting the DNA of destructive cancer cells. These cells then lose their ability to reproduce or grow, which leads to tumor reduction.

Stereotactic radiosurgery begins with a stimulation process. This is when your neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and neuro-oncologist team determine the place to pinpoint to destroy the cancer cells. The appointment usually lasts about an hour.

Before the Therapy Session

The pre-procedure steps of a stereotactic radiosurgery appointment are simple and do not cause any pain or discomfort:

  • Hospital staff will take you to the stimulation procedure room.
  • The radiotherapist and oncologist will explain the process and answer any questions that you may have.
  • The stimulation session involves some imaging tests, including a CT scan. Your radiotherapist will provide a mesh facial mask dipped in warm water. This mask might feel tighter as the water evaporates but it doesn’t hurt or cause pain.

Positioning for the Stereotactic Radiosurgery

After performing imaging tests and positioning the mesh mask on your face, you’ll have a few minutes to relax. Your therapist will communicate and check in with you so you don’t feel alone in the CT scan room.

The Process

After the positioning steps described above, you’ll lie on a table with your head secured in a comfortable position.  Then the beam will be directed on the targeted area. Usually, the session for one lesion takes about thirty minutes, depending on the severity and number of targeted tumors. After the session, you’ll be prepared for discharge.  You’ll need to have someone stay with you for a period of time to check for any unanticipated reactions.

Get in Touch with Qualified Brain Tumor Treatment Specialists in Reno, Nevada

At Sierra Neurosurgery, we offer cutting-edge, trusted care for pain management, brain and spine injuries, and imaging services.

Our brain tumor and spine specialists located throughout 5 offices in northern Nevada are board-certified to perform minimally invasive and complex surgical treatments such as spinal fusion, carpal tunnel surgery, neuro-oncology, and much more.

If you’re looking for an experienced spine or brain surgeon, request an appointment today by calling 775-323-2080 or visit sierraneurosurgery.com.