Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is a special form of radiation therapy used to treat benign and malignant brain tumors, blood vessel abnormalities of the brain and some neurologic conditions. Because the technologies used for SRS enable physicians and technicians to focus delivery accurately within millimeters, precise doses of radiation are delivered directly and only to the targeted area. Sometimes the total dose is divided into two or more sessions, called fractions, in order to deliver an adequate total dose to the tumor while minimizing the effect on the rest of the body.

SRS can be used to treat:

  • Brain tumors
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Skull base tumors (including meningioma and schwannoma)
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVM)
  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

SRS has been shown to offer the following advantages over surgical treatment:

  • Minimally invasive – no incision
  • An option for some tumors that cannot be reached safely by traditional open surgery
  • The ability to perform certain procedures as an outpatient without an overnight stay in the hospital
  • A rapid return to normal activities, in most cases
Yale physicians have treated nearly 3,000 patients with stereotactic radiosurgery since 1991, when this treatment was initially offered to patients on a modified linear accelerator. We currently treat between 3 and 8 patients each week with radiosurgery. The team that provides stereotactic radio surgery includes not only a radiation oncologist and a neurosurgeon, but also a physicist and a nurse. Stereotactic radiosurgery is very rarely associated with complications, and each patient’s case is different, so that all discussions of possible complications should occur with the neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist at the time of the initial consultation.