What is minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery?

Stereotactic Radiosurgery, contrary to the way it sounds, is not an invasive surgery. It is a non-invasive procedure that uses high-powered x-rays or gamma rays in a very focused manner on a precisely defined portion of the body. This procedure has been used to treat brain disorders for several years but Stereotactic Radiosurgery in India is now finding application in treating medical conditions in other parts of the body such as the lung, liver abdomen, prostate, head and neck as well.

What medical conditions are treated by Stereotactic Radiosurgery in India?

Stereotactic Radiosurgery is being effectively used to for the treatment of several tumours in the brain and in the nervous system. A few examples:

  • benign and malignant tumours in the brain and the spinal cord
  • primary and metastatic tumours in the brain and the spinal cord
  • tumours in the pituitary region
  • head and neck cancers
  • acoustic neuroma
  • AVM ( arteriovenous malformations)
  • epileptic disorders
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (for Parkinson's Disease)
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

When is Stereotactic Radiosurgery a better option?

Invasive surgery is not an option in those cases where the tumour or the target sites:

  • are inaccessible ( for example, deep seated brain tumours)
  • are very proximate to important nerves or vital organs (with the consequent possibility of significant collateral damage in the course of doing invasive surgery)

In the above situations, stereotactic radiosurgery in India is a good option to consider.

  • Identification of the tumour, its exact location shape and size: Three-dimensional imaging techniques are used to identify the precise details of the tumour that is to be targeted. CT, MRI and PET-CT are the modalities used in the planning process
  • Immobilisation of the targeted body region: Specially designed devices are used to ensure that that the tumour location does not change on account of physical movement by the patient of the targeted part of the body, for example the head.
  • Radiation delivery to the target site: Highly focused and powerful gamma or x-ray beams are trained on the target site from multiple angles. For some disorders, one single session of radiation delivery is sufficient. For some other situations, where the tumour is larger than 2.5 cm, radiation is delivered over four or five sessions. This method is called Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery.
  • The delivery of radiation to the target site is typically done by using Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machines which are widely available at our associate hospitals in India. Some of our associate hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad also have the latest generation LINAC machines ( Novalis Tx, CyberKnife, etc). These machines deliver photons (x-rays at very high energy levels) to the tumour site in a very precise manner.

    Radiation delivery is also done using the Gamma Knife which uses gamma rays instead of x-rays. The Gamma Knife surgery in India is considered to be more useful in the treatment of small tumours, while LINAC machines can handle large tumours as well.

How does Stereotactic Radiosurgery work?

Stereotactic Radiosurgery in India works by damaging the DNA of the tumour cells. Cancers are primarily caused by abnormal cells that multiply rapidly. Radiation, by damaging the DNA of the cells, neutralises their ability to multiply. Thus, over a period of time, the tumour size shrinks. Malignant tumours shrink fairly rapidly while benign tumours take a longer time, sometimes even a couple of years.

Who are the specialists involved in conducting Stereotactic Radiosurgery in India?

Treatment using Stereotactic Radiosurgery involves a team of specialists:

  • the neurosurgeon who is primarily in charge of the patientís treatment
  • the radiologists who read and interpret the CT, MRI and PET-CT images
  • the radiation oncologist who defines the entire radiation plan (target definition, radiation dose definition and overall treatment plan)
  • the radiation physicist who along with a dosimerist calculates radiation dosages and the specifics of radiation delivery
  • the radiation therapist-technician who operates the machine, positions the patient, etc

Does this procedure involve hospitalisation?

Hospitalisation is not essential. However for our foreign patients visiting India for treatment, it is more convenient to have the patient admitted to the hospital for two to three days, so that imaging and workup of the patient can be conducted rapidly and comfortably with the patient within the hospital.

Patients are normally able to resume normal activity within a day or two of the procedure.

The brain surgery procedures listed above represent ONLY A PARTIAL LIST of what is available at hospitals in India. We offer the full range of brain related treatment in India, both surgical and nonsurgical. If you did not see the procedure that you need above, please contact us with the details of your diagnosis and we will be happy to respond to you with a detailed medical opinion and a customised cost estimate.