Jefferson University Hospitals

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:

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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:

Step 5

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:

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.