Of all the health challenges you could face, one of the most difficult is a tumor in your brain or spine. It’s important to know that stereotactic radiosurgery effectively treats tumors without needing an incision and with little risk of complications. Dr. Carrie Shulman at The Florida Center for Neurosurgery has extensive experience performing stereotactic radiosurgery using the CyberKnife® System, which precisely targets tumors with minimal harm to surrounding tissues. If you need treatment for tumors in your brain or spine, call the office in Clearwater, Tampa Bay, Florida, or book an appointment online.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is an intensive treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill all cells in a targeted area. Radiation damages DNA inside cells, stopping their growth and shrinking the tumor or targeted structure.
Even though the name of the procedure is stereotactic radiosurgery, it doesn’t use an incision or invasive techniques to access the tumor. It’s called surgery because it accomplishes the same result as a traditional surgical procedure.
Dr. Shulman uses stereotactic radiosurgery to treat cancerous and noncancerous brain and spine tumors, as well as nerve conditions and vascular lesions. A few examples of conditions that may be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery include:
Dr. Shulman performs stereotactic radiosurgery using the CyberKnife® System, a robotic system with real-time imaging that allows the system to track motion and automatically adjust when the patient moves. To fully appreciate why this is important, you need to compare CyberKnife with other systems.
Other delivery systems stabilize your head, holding it still by fastening it to a stereotactic frame. A plastic mesh that molds to your face then hardens or pins may be used to hold your head in the frame.
After your head is stabilized, the delivery system is set in one position, where it emits multiple radiation beams at the same time. Each beam focuses on different areas around the tumor to ensure the entire tumor is treated.
With CyberKnife, your head does not need to be stabilized, so you don’t need to worry about a mesh or pins. You lie as still as possible while the system moves around your body.
As CyberKnife moves around your body, it stops at various locations to send out a dose of radiation. Each time, it calculates precisely where the radiation should be delivered.
The CyberKnife can treat a tumor in your spine, brain, head, or neck, treating the entire tumor from over 1,300 positions with sub-millimeter accuracy.
Compared to other systems, CyberKnife is noninvasive, pain-free, and doesn’t require anesthesia.
It also offers flexible treatment options. Dr. Shulman can perform stereotactic radiosurgery in a single session or up to five sessions for larger tumors. By comparison, other systems are limited to one session and smaller tumors.
To learn more about stereotactic radiosurgery with the CyberKnife, call The Florida Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery or book an appointment online.