When a pituitary tumor cannot be removed completely by surgery or treated with medications, radiosurgery may be considered. In radiosurgery, highly focused beams of radiation are used to treat the tumor. Emory's treatment system consists of a device which rotates around the patient and can deliver radiation at any angle, along with a device that shapes the radiation beam to match the shape and dimensions of the tumor. The system is so precise that it can target an area within four tenths of a millimeter. This means the radiation will be delivered effectively to the tumor, while sparing surrounding tissues.
Radiosurgery, like all forms of radiation, is a treatment that works gradually. Your team of pituitary doctors will work with you to determine if your symptoms are severe enough to warrant another, more fast-acting, form of treatment.
- Because of its precision, radiosurgery offers maximum treatment capability with minimal effect on healthy tissues.
- Radiosurgery is performed on an outpatient basis, and you can resume your regular activities within a day or two.
- Because there is no incision, there is no risk of postoperative infection or bleeding, and discomfort is minimal.
- Side effects of treatment are minimal.
- Swelling or edema may occur.
- Skin in the treatment area may become red, irritated or sensitive. It may later itch, blister or peel.