You received stereotactic radiosurgery or radiotherapy, a form of radiation therapy that focuses high-powered x-rays onto a small area of your brain.
You may have a headache or feel dizzy after your treatment.
If you had pins that held a frame in place, they will be removed before you go home.
You may feel some discomfort where the pins used to be. Bandages may be placed over the pin sites.
You can wash your hair after 24 hours.
Do not use hair coloring, perms, gels, or other hair products until the sites where the pins were placed are completely healed.
If you had anchors placed, they will be taken out when you have received all of your treatments. While the anchors are in place:
Clean the anchors and the surrounding skin 3 times a day.
Do not wash your hair while the anchors are in place.
A scarf or a lightweight hat may be worn to cover the anchors.
When the anchors are removed, you will have small wounds to care for. Do not wash your hair until any staples are removed.
Do not use hair coloring, perms, gels, or other hair products until the sites where the anchors were placed are completely healed.
Watch the areas where the anchors are still in place or where they were removed for redness and drainage.
Most people go back to their regular activities the next day, if there are no complications such as swelling. Some people are kept in the hospital overnight for monitoring. You may develop black eyes during the week after surgery, but it’s nothing to worry about.
You should be able to eat normal foods after your treatment. Ask your doctor about when to return to work.
You will most likely need to have an MRI, CT scan or angiogram a few weeks or months after the procedure. Your doctor or nurse will schedule your follow-up visit.
You may need additional treatments.
If you have a brain tumor, you may need chemotherapy or open surgery.
If you have a vascular malformation, you may need open surgery or endovascular surgery.
If you have a trigeminal neuralgia, you may need to take pain medicine.
If you have a pituitary tumor, you might need hormonal replacement.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor if you have:
Redness, drainage, or worsening pain at the spot where the pins or anchors were placed
A fever that lasts more than 24 hours
A headache that is very bad or one that does not get better with time
Problems with your balance
Weakness in your arms or legs
Any changes in your strength, sensation of the skin, or thinking (confusion, disorientation)
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of sensation in your face
Chang EF, Quigg M, Oh MC, et al; Epilepsy Radiosurgery Study Group. Predictors of efficacy after stereotactic radiosurgery for medial temporal lobe epilepsy. Neurology. 2010 Jan 12;74(2):165-72.
Welling DB, Packer MD. Stereotactic radiation treatment of benign tumors of the cranial basae. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund VJ, Niparko JK, Richardson MA, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2010:chap 179.
Ewend MG, Morris DE, Carey LA, Ladha AM, Brem S. Guidelines for the initial management of metastatic brain tumors: role of surgery, radiosurgery, and radiation therapy. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2008;6:505-513.
Suh JH. Stereotactic radiosurgery for the management of brain metastases. N Engl J Med. 2010;362:1119-1127.
Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.