Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
With certain types of brain tumors, whole-brain radiation treatment (WBRT) is an option; however, it has a number of severe side effects. Surgical removal of the tumor is another option, but it carries a higher risk of tumor recurrence. For other tumors,...
gamma knife radiosurgery is the only treatment available as of 2003.
Radiosurgery, also known as stereotactic radiotherapy, is a medical procedure which allows non-invasive treatment of benign and malignant conditions, arteriovenous malformations (AVM's), and some functional disorders by means of directed beams of ionizing radiation. It is a relatively recent technique (1951), which is used to ablate, by means of a precise dosage of radiation, intracranial and extracranial tumors and other lesions that could be otherwise inaccessible or inadequate for open surgery. There are many nervous diseases for which conventional surgical treatment is difficult or has many deleterious consequences for the patient, due to arteries, nerves, and other vital structures being damaged.
The total number of neurosurgeries performed in 2006 was estimated at 2,171,195. Of these, 1,345,167 spine-related were performed, equating to nearly 62 percent of the total.
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