Diagnosis for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is most often used to treat:
- Brain tumors and other lesions in the brain
- Certain neurological conditions, such as trigeminal neuralgia wherein pressure on the trigeminal nerve leads to extreme facial pain
- Acoustic neuroma– a tumor in the brain that affects the nerves that control hearing
- Arteriovenous malformations or AVM (a type of blood vessel defect)
- Pituitary tumors
- Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be used in situations where the brain lesion cannot be reached by conventional surgical techniques
- To ensure fitness for the procedure complete physical examination and blood tests or other diagnostic tests.
- Inform your physician if you are sensitive to or are allergic or have any bleeding disorder.
- Inform your physician of all medications and supplements that you are taking.
- If you have any type of implant.
- If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should notify your physician.
- You will be asked to fast for eight hours before the procedure.
- Gamma Knife radiosurgery is usually an outpatient procedure. In some cases, an overnight stay in the hospital may be necessary.
- Intravenous (IV) line is attached to keep you hydrated during procedure.
- Head frame placement to prevent movement of head during procedure you will have a lightweight head frame attached to your head with four pins or screws, The head frame also is a guide to focus the beams to the exact location of the lesion being treated.
- You'll receive numbing shots in places on your scalp where the pins will be inserted.
- Some of your hair may be shaved.
- After numbing the scalp the doctor attaches the head frame to prevent the head movement.
- Once the head frame is in place, you'll undergo imaging scans of your brain that show the location of the tumor to be treated or other abnormality determined using Computed Tomography (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- After the CT or MRI scan has been completed, the radiation therapy team will make use of imaging studies and software to create a treatment plan.
- A special radiation helmet will be positioned over head frame , the helmet has holes that allow only programmed radiation to pass through. You will be made to lie on a bed that slides into the Gamma Knife machine.
- The treatment is silent and painless, you won't feel the radiation. You won't hear any noise from the machine.
- You'll be able to talk with the doctors via a microphone.
- The time taken may be few minutes to a few hours depending on size and shape of treatment area.
- The head frame will be removed.
- You may have minor bleeding or tenderness at the pin sites.
- you will be monitored for few hours.
- If you experience headache, nausea or vomiting after the procedure, you'll receive appropriate medications.
- Recovery time from gamma knife treatment is minimal.
- Its important to have follow-up exams to monitor your progress. Follow-up with a Neurosurgeon and/or Radiation Oncologist will be made after approximately 4 to 6 weeks post treatment. Depending on the condition treated, follow-up scans will be done routinely.
Complications of the Procedure
There may be:
- Swelling of the brain-leading to symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue may occur for few weeks
- Your scalp may be red, irritated or sensitive at sites where a device is attached to your head during the treatment
- temporarily loss of hair where treatment is directed
- loss of balance
- vision problems
- Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects
Factors Affecting Cost Of Gamma knife Radiosurgery
The cost to the patient depends on a variety of factors like:
- The hospital, the patient chooses
- Fee for the team of doctors and procedure charges
- Cost of medications
- Standard tests and diagnostic procedures
- Cost of the follow–up care