Radiation Oncology


Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a technique used to treat brain tumors. SRS delivers a large, single radiation dose with extreme accuracy. The radiosurgery program at Emory has been active since 1989, and we have treated more than 1,000 patients. Our multidisciplinary team consists of a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and medical physicist involved in planning and treatment.

Brain Radiosurgery Process

SRS patients typically have an MRI scan performed as part of the diagnostic workup prior to radiosurgical treatment. On the morning of the procedure, the patient is admitted to Neurosurgery, where a stereotactic frame is attached to the skull under local anesthesia. This frame enables the physicians to pinpoint the tumor in three-dimensional space with extreme accuracy. A detailed CT scan is then performed with the headframe in place.

Next, the images from the CT scan are combined with the MRI images. The team uses these highly detailed images to precisely determine the location of the tumor and sensitive brain structures. A unique treatment plan is then developed for the patient.

The patient is brought to the treatment room, placed on the table, and accurately positioned. Treatment typically takes about 30 minutes. Once the treatment is completed, the stereotactic headframe is removed. In most cases, only a single radiation treatment is required.

Nearly all SRS procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. After the headframe is removed, the patient is observed for an hour or so and then is able to return home.