Preparing for Your Visit
About the Process
Although every situation is unique, the typical process for stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy patients at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience is:
Your first step is an initial consultation with a Jefferson neurosurgeon or radiation oncologist, depending on your referral. At your appointment, please bring any scans you have, and be prepared to discuss your symptoms.
The neurosurgeon will bring your case before the Tumor/Radiosurgery Board, which includes representatives from neurosurgery, radiation oncology and medical oncology. The panel will discuss your case and recommend a treatment.
You'll receive a phone call from the Clinical Coordinator, who will explain the Board's recommendations, answer your questions and schedule your next appointment.
If the Board has determined that you're a candidate for stereotactic radiosurgery or radiotherapy, you'll need to meet with a radiation oncologist or neurosurgeon (depending on who you did not see in your initial appointment) before treatment. (Please note: This appointment is required even for benign tumors.)
If your treatment is single-dose radiosurgery using the Gamma Knife or LINAC, you have one step remaining:
Your MRI and CAT scan, development of treatment plan, and actual treatment will occur over the course of a single day. You'll need to block an entire day and bring a relative or friend with you to the hospital.
If your treatment is multiple-dose (fractionated) radiosurgery using the LINAC, you have the following steps remaining:
Come to Jefferson for your MRI, CAT scan and fitting for the masking or mouthpiece system. This process will take approximately 4 hours to complete.
The Jefferson team will thoroughly review your scans and develop your treatment plan. As soon as that has been completed, you'll receive a phone call to set up your appointments.
Your treatment will vary depending upon your diagnosis. For most patients, stereotactic radiotherapy requires treatments five days per week for five to six weeks. Once a week you will have a treatment visit with your radiation oncologist to monitor your progress. Although actual treatment time may be less, block one hour for each of those treatments.