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Stereotactic radiosurgery is a special form of radiation therapy. It is not surgery.
Stereotactic radiosurgery delivers precisely focused, high dose x-ray beams to a small, localized area of the body.
The surgeon, radiation oncologist, and nurse will talk with you about the procedure.
Before you begin your radiosurgery treatment, you will need to have certain tests.
These tests may include:
You may also require placement of tiny gold markers known as fiducials (fih-DOO-shuls).
Your team will talk with you about the treatment. Be sure to ask any questions you have. You will then need to sign the consent form for your stereotactic radiosurgery treatment.
A fiducial is a small piece of gold, or other type of metal, sometimes referred to as a seed or marker. It's about the size of a grain of rice.
The fiducials mark the tumor or a location near the tumor. They can be seen on an x-ray and act as tracking devices for the radiosurgery system to follow.
You can have from 2 to 4 fiducials placed. You can't feel them. They aren't magnetic or radioactive and they can't be removed.
About 1 to 3 weeks before your radiosurgery treatment, the fiducials will be placed in the appropriate area under endoscopic ultrasound guidance (EUS) or CT guidance.
This is an outpatient procedure. Most people return home within a few hours.
Before you come in for your fiducial placement procedure, you will need to do a few things to prepare.
|How long before||What to do|
||After midnight, do not eat or drink anything.|
||Bring someone who can drive you home after the procedure.|
About 1 week after the placement of the fiducial markers, you will return to the radiation oncology department for a treatment-planning CT scan.
At this appointment, we:
Once the CT scan is complete, the radiation oncologist and surgeon develop a custom plan according to information in the computer regarding your tumor. Planning your treatment may take 1 to 2 weeks.
After the radiation oncologist and surgeon have your treatment plan in place, someone from the team will call you to schedule a date and time for treatment(s).
You may receive 1 to 5 treatments over a 2-week period.
Once you complete all of your stereotactic radiosurgery treatments, the radiation oncologist will speak with you and your family member.
Approximately 1 month after your treatment, you will return for a follow-up visit with your radiation oncologist and/or surgeon.
There have been minimal side effects associated with stereotactic radiosurgery treatment for abdominal tumors. The most common side effects are nausea and fatigue.
Follow these tips to deal with side effects you may have.
You may have temporary changes to the skin on your abdomen in the area that was treated.
Changes may include:
These skin changes usually occur 1 to 2 days after your treatment and last between 1 and 2 weeks.
Call immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
To report these symptoms, or if you have any questions or concerns, please call UPMC Hillman Cancer Centers at UPMC Shadyside’s Radiosurgery Program office at 412-623-2061.