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Stereotactic Gamma Ray Surgery for Extracranial Lesions and Tumors

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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.

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before surgery:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • You may need x-rays, bone scans, CT scans, or MRIs to check the location, shape, and size of your tumor.

The night before surgery:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

  • 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 will 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.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your stereotactic gamma ray surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You had a seizure.
  • You have sudden shortness of breath or chest pain.

Risks

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.

Care Agreement

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.

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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.