ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Frameless SRS, or stereotactic radiosurgery, is a finely focused form of radiation used to treat benign or malignant tumors in the brain. At Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, this can be done with something called a hyperarc.

"The benefit of using hyperarc is quicker treatment, less time on the table, therefore the patient lies stiller because they're not on the table for half an hour or 45 minutes," said Dr. Anthony Crimaldi. "Another benefit of the hyperarc is that it's frameless, so you don't have to go to the operating room, you don't have to have a surgical procedure to a single fraction radiosurgery." 

The treatment, which involves high-dose radiation to a precise spot where the tumor is located, typically takes less than 30 minutes and is fully automated with a doctor on standby. The technique is meant to shrink or kill the tumor, without damaging other brain tissue. The machine is able to monitor patient movement, and it shuts down if a patient moves too much.

"Frameless technology is very mature, very robust, and it is very safe, we can monitor the motion of the patient, so there's very few instances that I can think of and perhaps even no instances that I can think of where framed radiosurgery is an advantage over frameless, so why not do frameless, they don't have to go to the OR, they don't have to have an extra procedure," Crimaldi said.

A mask is custom-fitted to a patient's head to hold the head in place during treatment.

"There's no operative procedure, no screwing screws into the skull bone, no sitting all day with a head frame, and then getting the treatment then getting the head frame taken off," Crimaldi said.

The most common condition this treatment is used for is brain metastases.

"The nice thing about hyperarc is not only can it treat one lesion quickly, it can treat multiple lesions at the same time quickly, so now you're doing frameless, you can do multiple spots, all at one time, in a short time on the table for the patient," said Crimaldi.

To learn more about frameless SRS at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, click here