Skip to main content

Stereotactic Gamma Ray Surgery for Malignant Intracranial Tumors

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

This surgery is used to treat malignant (cancer) tumors inside your head. Beams of radiation kill the tumor cells. Normal tissues near the tumor get little or no radiation. Malignant tumors can grow anywhere inside your head.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

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. A head frame will be used to hold your head still during the treatment. You may get medicine to numb the area where the frame will be placed. The head frame will be secured with pins.
  • The table you are lying on will be moved inside the treatment hood. MRI or CT scans are used to help point the beams directly at the 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 skull and brain and reach your tumor. You will need to lie still and relax during the treatment. After the treatment, the table will be moved out of the hood. The head frame and helmet 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.

RISKS:

Radiation kills tumor cells but can also damage other normal cells. Your brain, eyes, blood vessels, or nerves may get damaged during gamma ray treatments. You may have headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures, or problems with your vision or memory. You may have alopecia, a condition that causes your hair to thin and fall out. Areas that make hormones may get damaged, and you may need medicines to replace these hormones. There is also a chance that your tumor may not completely shrink or that it may come back. A new tumor could grow after this treatment.

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.

© 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.

Learn more about Stereotactic Gamma Ray Surgery for Malignant Intracranial Tumors (Inpatient Care)

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

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