If your doctor orders Cyberknife radiosurgery, you'll get fast, incredibly precise treatment with no overnight hospital stay. You'll find this advanced technology at Virginia Hospital Center, the only Arlington-area facility that offers CyberKnife with enhancements that shorten your setup and treatment time.
How CyberKnife Works
CyberKnife is a noninvasive treatment for tumors. It uses focused beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells. The system uses real-time imaging to track the location of your tumor and adjusts radiation beams to target the cancer precisely—reducing damage to nearby healthy tissue. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend CyberKnife instead of open surgery.
CyberKnife treats benign and cancerous tumors:
- Brain, spine, and skull base
- Gastrointestinal tract, including pancreas and liver
- Head and neck
- Other soft-tissue organs
What to Expect
Because CyberKnife uses high doses of radiation, you'll need only one to five treatments, each lasting just 30 minutes to two hours.
Usually, a body cradle will help you stay in the same position throughout treatment. But if you have a brain, head or neck tumor, you'll wear a custom mask to keep your head and neck in position. You can breathe normally throughout treatment.
After each pain-free treatment, you can return immediately to your daily activities. You may even experience fewer side effects than with traditional radiation therapy.
You'll need a computed tomography (CT) scan, and sometimes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to help your care team plan treatment. Your doctor may place tiny metal markers in or near the tumor two or three weeks before treatment to help guide the radiation beam.
Before and after each session of radiosurgery, a nurse will discuss your treatment and any medication or dietary changes you must make. Feel free to ask questions.
Most insurance plans cover CyberKnife treatments. Ask us for help determining your coverage and understanding your financial responsibility.