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Spine Radiosurgery: An Alternative Approach

On Topic Video Transcript

Peter C. Gerszten, MD, MPH
Peter E. Sheptak Professor of Neurological Surgery

There are several very important advantages of spine radiosurgery over traditional or conventional open neurosurgery, neurosurgical procedures. First and foremost is that it is completely painless, it is bloodless, it is very minimally invasive, it can be done as an outpatient in usually less than an hour and there’s absolutely no recovery time associated with the procedure.

Targeted Treatment

We now have the ability to focus radiation beams to a very small target inside of the body in such a way that the beams add up over time to a large amount of energy that kills the tumor cells by destroying the DNA. And once the tumor cells are dead they will never grow back. Furthermore, because the radiation beams are so highly targeted that they do not in any way interfere or damage normal structures of the body.

Experience and Technology

The technology that we use here at UPMC for spine radiosurgery is the most advanced technology in the world. It is a technology that we here have developed over the course of 10 years of experience and this is by far the most experienced center in the world for spine radiotherapy. It is a machine that is completely dedicated to nothing else than to treating spine tumors with radiosurgery. It involves a very experienced team of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and medical physicists working very closely together for our patients.

The Future of Radiosurgery

The future of spine radiosurgery is already here today at UPMC. Over the past decade we have treated thousands of patients who have come from all over the world for us to treat with spine tumors. We literally wrote the book on spine radiosurgery. We have had neurosurgeons from around the world send their patients to us for radiosurgery treatment because they know of our expertise and they entrust us with the care of their patients. It has been so rewarding to hear from former patients who state that their lives have literally been changed by coming to Pittsburgh and undergoing spine radiosurgery.

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