Stereotactic radiosurgery

We went to see an oncologist today, to get a second opinion about what could be done re J’s meningioma. After the pre-Christmas teariness seeing the neurosurgeon, it was really nice to get some potentially good news.

J’s going to get stereotactic radiosurgery. We’re not sure whether that’ll be all in one session, or fractionated (multiple sessions). We’ll know that after they’ve done the planning stage and performed their simulations. She won’t need to go into hospital for it, just rock up to a clinic on as many days as required.

Compared with surgery, this form of treatment has major advantages. With surgery the skull is opened, you need to spend 6-9 hours on the table, up to a week in ICU post-op, then around 3 months of rehab. With stereotactic radiosurgery, they don’t crack your skull open (the beams are highly and specifically targeted to the correct places within the brain cavity), if you can get it done in one hit it’s ~2 hours of being in a mask; if you need fractionated doses then it’s X times 15-20 minutes. The likelihood of hearing loss and facial nerve paralysis (let alone any other cranial nerve impact) is significant with surgery, but the chances of that happening with stereotactic radiosurgery are significantly less.

We’re a bit apprehensive about it all, but feeling generally positive.