IORT has many benefits, the most obvious of which is reducing radiation treatments from five to six weeks down to one treatment done at the time of surgery. This allows people to get back to their normal routine quickly, with fewer side effects compared to whole breast radiation. Because the radiation goes directly to the targeted area during surgery and bypasses the skin, the irritation or blistering that can occur with whole breast irradiation is reduced. Additionally, because the radiation area is smaller than other radiation options, people don't experience the radiation-induced fatigue that typically occurs with whole breast irradiation. This lessens the overall impact of radiation treatment on daily life. During IORT, the heart and underlying structures are protected from the radiation with a "beam stopper," thus reducing the long-term effects of radiation on the heart, ribs, and lungs.