The set-up involves either a plastic mask or a foam body cradle. Either one will help a patient stay in a fixed position during treatment.
For a typical cranial tumor or lesion, a custom-fit plastic mask is made for each patient. With the mask in place, the patient undergoes a CT scan with contrast. In some instances, a MRI scan may be needed.
For extracranial tumor or lesion, a foam body cradle is custom-fit for the individual patient instead of the mask. Most extracranial cases require placement of small metal fiducials prior to treatment set-up. These implanted metal fiducials are 3 to 4 mm long and are used to accurately target the tumor.
Although the procedure itself takes less than an hour, patients should expect to be at Stanford for about 8 hours. An example is 6:30 a.m. check-in, discharge at 3 p.m. with someone to drive the patient home. Patient receives moderate sedation for the fiducials implant procedure.