Tomotherapy in Radiation Oncology
This handout tells you about tomotherapy. It covers what will happen during the treatment. While reading this, mark any part you do not understand. Also, make a list of questions you may have. Bring this handout when you come for your treatment. Your therapist or doctor will go over it with you.
The first treatment is a one-hour visit. The treatments after that are about 30 minutes. You will see your doctor once a week. In most cases the visit with your doctor is after one of your treatments. You should plan on being in the clinic a little longer on those days.
What is tomotherapy?
It is a method of giving radiation treatment to a patient in a manner similar to a CT scan. The Tomo Therapy machine is a combination treatment machine and a CT scanner. The daily CT confirms the precise size, shape, and location of your tumor before the treatment is given
What happens during a treatment visit?
Please arrive at the Tomo Therapy unit in K4/B module in Radiation Oncology at the time you were given. Be sure to check in with the staff so we know you are here.
You will be called into the room, and the therapist will explain the process in detail.
- You may be asked to remove some clothing or personal items for the treatment.
- You will be placed on the treatment table. The therapist(s) may need to adjust your position on the table by moving parts of your body.
- The table will move into the opening of the machine. The therapists will leave the room and perform a CT scan. The therapists are able to see and hear you even when they are not in the room.
- At the end of the CT, the table will move out of the opening. It takes about 10 minutes for the therapists and doctors to review the CT and confirm the treatment field. It is very important for you to hold still during the entire time.
- The therapists will then come back into the room, make the needed adjustments, and put the table into the scanner for treatment.
- The treatment itself will take 6 to15 minutes. You will be in the room about 30 minutes.
- When the treatment is finished, the therapists will come into the room and help you off the table.
- There is no pain or discomfort with treatments. You will not see, feel, or hear the radiation. You will hear some background noise from the tomotherapy machine. If it bothers you, ear plugs are available. We watch you with TV cameras and microphones at all times. If at any time you need something, wave your hand or call out loudly. The therapist will stop the machine right away and come into the room.
- Side effects of treatment depend on what part of your body is treated. Your doctor will discuss these with you.
- Treatments are given Monday-Friday. If you need to reach the staff you may call your Tomo Therapy unit Monday through Friday between 8:00 and 4:00.
- Treatment Room B: (608)266-6405
- Treatment Room C: (608)263-1484
- On your last day of treatment, you will meet with your doctor. A follow-up visit will be made at this time.
- If you have any questions or problems once you are home, call the Radiation Oncology Clinic at (608) 263-8500. If the clinic is closed, the hospital answering service will pick up the call. Ask for the radiation oncologist on call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 06/22/2011
Copyright © 06/22/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6166
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