Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in Spain

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About the Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)

Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is a type of technique used to precisely target radiation beams at the tumour. This is one of the latest innovations in the field of radiation therapy. Since this treatment requires special equipment, machine, and expertise, this treatment is not widely available across all cancer treatment hospitals.

SRT involves treatment of a tumour with the help of a special machine known as a linear accelerator (LINAC). This machine is used to deliver external radiation therapy in the case of normal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

SRT treatment involves of small daily doses of radiation, which are also known as fractions. The patient may be advised to undergo anywhere between 3 to 30 fractions in a day, depending on the extent of cancer and the size of the area that is being targeted. SRT is mostly used for the treatment of smaller lesions and tumours and is less than 3 cms in size.

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) are types of SRT. SRS is also known as Gamma Knife surgery. It involves exposing the tumour to a very high dose of radiation in one to five fractions. Gamma Knife surgery is usually used for the treatment of a tumour in the central nervous system (CNS).

On the other hand, SBRT is a special procedure used for the treatment of tumours located outside the central nervous system. In this approach, radiation is delivered through different directions or positions of the body. It can be used for the treatment of small tumours in the lungs, pelvis, prostate, pancreas and other organs as well.

SRT is mostly used for the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Secondary brain tumours
  • Small lesion or brain tumour that has a well-defined edge
  • Glioma that may have returned after months or years of treatment

Gamma Knife surgery is different from CyberKnife radiation. The latter is used for the treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumours as well as other medical conditions. CyberKnife treatment is actually a frameless robotic radiosurgery system that delivers a high dose of radiation to the targeted location.

How is Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) performed?

Just before the surgery, the radiographer will fit the head frame or the mask in case it is being used for other parts of the body. This is done to restrict the movement so that the targeted location stays in place. You may receive a local anaesthetic before the placement of mask or head frame.

You are placed on the radiotherapy table as soon as the frame is in place. A typical session lasts for just 10 minutes or more, depending on how much radiation is scheduled to be delivered.

In the case of stereotactic radiosurgery or Gamma Knife surgery, several tiny beams of radiation are aimed at a tumour precisely. It can also be used for the treatment of specific conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, trigeminal neuralgia, and epilepsy. This lets the specialist focus a single dose of large radiation at a time to eliminate the tumour cells. In the case of stereotactic body radiation therapy,  several beams of radiation are targeted at the cancerous tumour from different directions.

Recovery from Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)

Most of the patients are able to resume their normal life and work within two or three days of the procedure. The patients are usually discharged on the same day of the procedure. However, a few of them may be required to stay overnight is medically advised or needed.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Spain / Why should opt for Spain as a destination for your medical treatment?
Spain has a uni payer healthcare system. This means that there is universal coverage for most of the expenses (excluding prescription drugs). One might have to wait for quite some time to avail of elective procedure treatment in Spain. Non-European travelers must have valid health insurance coverage to benefit from the hospitals in Spain. One can also avail of it on a residency visa. The private insurance system helps you to avail the benefits at monthly costs. The taxes in Spain are comparatively lower than those of other European countries. Hence, one can surely opt for this country for medical treatment.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Spain? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are a few JCI certified hospitals in Spain :
  • Vithas Xanit International Hospital
  • Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud
  • Centro Médico Quironsalud Teknon
  • Hospital General de Catalunya
  • Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular (IMO Barcelona)
  • Sanitas Hospitales
  • Guttmann Institute
  • Instituto Balear de Oftalmología (IBO)
Are the doctors/surgeons in Spain of the best quality?
The hospitals in Spain are based on “el sistema national de salud” which provides high-quality care and medical centres, that is, “centros de salud”. This system has public and private healthcare systems, often within the same level. Since many countries send ex-pats here, one can even find an English speaking doctor very easily. Most doctors are adequately skilled and can handle the cases.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Spain?
One has to apply for a Schengen Visa to gain entry into Spain for a medical purpose. The required documents when applying for a Schengen Visa for Medical Treatment are as follows:
  1. Visa application form.
  2. Two photos.
  3. Valid travel document/passport.
  4. A copy of your passport's data page.
  5. Roundtrip flight reservation.
  6. Travel Medical Insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation
What support services does MediGence provide in Spain?
MediGence has been praised on a global scale for the list of services they provide. Apart from the listed services, the staff and the guides are adorned for their customer interaction, impromptu assistance, and various other assistance related guidance throughout the tour. Thus, the list of services provided by MediGence are:
  • Insurance query related guidance
  • In-detail guidance till completion of the medical tour
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Which are the best cities in Spain for medical treatment?
Spain has many cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Pamplona that have some of the best hospitals in Spain. Madrid has good hospitals for general and reproductive health facilities. Barcelona has hospitals specializing in child healthcare.

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