The Westchester Center for Sterotactic Radiosurgery is the tri-state area's regional center for this specialized "knifeless" neurosurgical procedure which provides hope to patients suffering from a wide spectrum of neurological disorders and problems.
What is Sterotactic Radiosurgery?
Sterotactic Radiosurgery is a non-invasive procedure that delivers a single focused dose of radiation to a small area of the brain. Precise and accurate localization of the treatment protects surrounding brain tissue, dramatically reducing the possibility of neurological complications.
Who Can Benefit from Stereotactic Radiosurgery?
Stereotactic Radiosurgery has proven to be effective in the treatment of deep tumors in the brain, such as gliomas, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas and metastatic tumors and vascular malformations. Frequently a safer alternative to surgery, it can also be used in addition to surgery for these lesions. Stereotactic Radiosurgery has also shown promise in the treatment of functional disorders, including Parkinson's Disease, movement disorders, chronic pain, epilepsy and some psychiatric disorders.
How is the Procedure Performed?
Prior to the procedure, the patient visits the Center for a pre-admission orientation, at which time the procedure is fully explained and presurgical instruction described.
The patient is admitted to Westchester Medical Center the morning of treatment. The neurosurgeon fits the patient with the stereotactic head frame. Little discomfort is involved in the entire procedure because a local anesthetic is used. The frame is secured to the skull with four pins that penetrate to only two millimeters, or about 1/16 of an inch. For young children, the process is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Once the head frame is in place, radiologic tests are performed. Using a sophisticated computer, members of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery team use information from these detailed images to map and plan the treatment. This critically important treatment planning may take up to several hours to complete. During the interim, the patient rests comfortably in his or her room with family and friends.
The patient is then taken to the Stereotactic Radiosurgery suite within the Department of Radiation Medicine. The room is outfitted with a video system and two-way communication system, allowing the patient to have uninterrupted contact with the treatment team members. For patient comfort, recorded music is also available.
The head frame is properly positioned so that the targeted tissue is aligned with the exact point of intersection of the beams. The head frame is fixed in position while the patient rests comfortably, free to move his or her arms and legs.