Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Stereotactic radiosurgery does not cause pain; and because the skull is not opened, there is no long hospital stay or risk of infection. Recovery is very rapid; most patients go home the same day they are treated, although follow-up imaging and retreatment...
may be necessary in some cases. This form of surgery appears to be quite successful in extending the length of survival in cancer patients; one study found that gamma knife radiosurgery controlled tumor growth in 96% of patients with kidney cancer that had spread to the brain, and added an average of 15 months to the patients' survival.
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.
Select comparative data from 1999 to 2006 include a decrease of 14 percent in the number of neurosurgeons in private practice and a decrease of 13 percent in the number of neurosurgeons in solo practice.
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