Skip to Content

Stereotactic Gamma Ray Surgery for Extracranial Lesions and Tumors


This surgery is used to treat lesions and tumors in areas such as your organs, spine, or prostate. They can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancerous). Beams of radiation kill the tumor cells. Normal tissues near the tumor get little or no radiation. You may have 1 treatment using high-energy beams, or many treatments using weaker beams.


Before surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

During surgery:

  • You will be placed on a table that can be moved to different positions. Shields that block radiation from reaching other parts of your body may be put over you. Body frames, vacuum pillows, or molded plastic devices can be used to hold your body still during treatment. If your liver or lungs will be treated, your healthcare provider will tell you if you need to take a deep breath or follow other directions.
  • The table that you are lying on will be moved inside the treatment area. MRI or CT scans are used make sure you are in the right position so that the beams point directly at your tumor. Your surgeon will set the shape of the beams and the amount of radiation your tumor will get. The beams will pass through your bones and tissues and reach your tumor. You will need to lie still and relax during the treatment. After the treatment, your table will be moved out of the treatment area. The body frame and other devices will be removed.

After surgery:

You may be taken to a room where healthcare providers can watch you closely for problems. Do not try to get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Later, you will be taken to your hospital room, or you may be able to go home.


Radiation kills tumor cells but can also damage other normal cells in your body. Your organs can swell and become painful. There is also a chance that your tumor may come back or may not be completely removed. A new tumor may grow after this treatment. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.