Stereotactic Radiosurgery

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(608) 263-7502 


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Stereotactic Radiosurgery Physicians


Health Facts

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

UW Health neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists in Madison, Wisconsin, perform stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), which focuses a high concentration of radiation on specific parts of the brain, for selected patients with brain tumors and other conditions that cannot be removed with traditional surgical procedures.


In contrast to many surgical procedures, stereotactic radiosurgery does not remove brain growths. Instead, radiation therapy attacks growths at the cellular level, effectively destroying their ability to replicate and spread. Stereotactic radiosurgery is also a method of closing off abnormal blood vessels in arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and ablating the pain fibers in trigeminal neuralgia.


Why choose UW Health for stereotactic radiosurgery?


UW Health's stereotactic radiosurgery program is one of the most accomplished and experienced programs in the United States. Our program:

  • Was one of the first five established in the country and the Midwest's first stereotactic radiosurgery program
  • Was one of the first programs in the world to use linear accelerator stereotactic radiosurgery to treat trigeminal neuralgia
  • Has an expert multidisciplinary team with more than 20 years experience and has treated more than 1,000 patients
  • Is truly multidisciplinary, involving the talents of audiology, endovascular neurosurgery, neurology, otolaryngology (ear, nose and threat), radiology, radiation oncology, medical physicists, neuro-oncology, neuroradiology and neurosurgery as needed
  • Has the largest volume of published, peer-reviewed research in the state of Wisconsin
  • Leader in national and international brain tumor clinical trials

What types of diseases can be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery?

Stereotactic Radiosurgery: The Procedure
  1. The first step in the stereotactic radiosurgery procedure is the placement of a frame that ensures procedural accuracy.
  2. With the frame placed, a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is used to determine the exact location of the growth.
  3. You will have an hour or two to relax while the treatment team establishes your treatment plan, including determining the optimum radiation dose for your specific case.
  4. For the actual radiation treatment, you will lie down on a treatment table. The process is similar to having an X-ray taken. The machine that delivers the radiation rotates around you as you lie still. You will be awake during the entire procedure and able to communicate with your doctors as the radiation is delivered to the predetermined areas of your brain.
Advantages of Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Minimally invasive therapy for tumors, AVMs, trigeminal neuralgia and selected neurological diseases

Delivers precise, accurate dose of radiation to trouble spots while doing a better job of sparing surrounding healthy tissue


Minimal Radiosurgery Side Effects


The side effects inherent to stereotactic radiosurgery are relatively few. Most common is minimal brain swelling, which can be treated with medication. Some patients experience a brief period of nausea due to the radiation therapy. Long-term prognosis, of course, depends on how completely the targeted brain growths are eradicated by the procedure.


What is fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy?


Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy is done in multiple sessions while stereotactic radiosurgery usually is completed in one session. Learn more about fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy