Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is a procedure that uses radiation to treat brain tumours and anomalies of the brain.
Using specialized medical equipment, high number of radiation beams are passed exactly on the tumor in the brain. This is highly precise technique and causes negligible damage to tissues near the tumor. All the beams combine on the tumor and create a strong radiation, thereby destroying the tumor.
Gamma Knife Surgery is used to treat the following conditions most commonly:
Brain Tumor: The management of small non-cancerous and cancerous brain tumors becomes easier. The genetic material (DNA) present in the tumor’s cells is destroyed, as a result of which the cells lose their ability to reproduce, eventually dying and shrinking the size of the tumor.
Pituitary Gland Tumors: Pea-sized tumors at the base of the pituitary gland can affect various body funtions including metabolism and sexual function.
Trigeminal Neuralgia causes excruciating pain in the areas of forehead, cheek and jaw. It is a disorder of one or both of the trigeminal nerves. After treatment, a lot of people experience pain relief within a few days.
Acoustic Neuroma is a condition in which benign tumor develops along the main balance and hearing nerve which leads from the inner ear to the brain. This may result in hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ear, loss of facial muscle movement or loss of balance.
Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is caused abnormally entangled arteries and veins in the brain. This disrupts normal flow of blood, and may even lead to bleeding in the brain.
Radiosurgery is usually performed when:
Brain tumor or other anomalies of the brain are difficult to reach via open neurosurgery
Patient's medical condition does not allow a normal surgery
Patient prefers a less invasive treatment for their abnormal growth
Before the procedure, the surgeon will advise
To stop taking blood thinner or certain other medications at least 2 weeks before the procedure
Not to eat or drink anything at least 12 hours before the procedure.
The surgeon will check for allergic reactions to iodine because dyes used in the procedure may contain it.
The procedure is generally performed under local anesthesia and generally takes about 1 to 4 hours.
To begin the procedure, the surgeon will attach a frame with pins to the patient's head. This may feel uncomfortable. This is done to stabilize the head and prevent any unnecessary movement during the surgery.
The precise location of the tumor or anomaly is detected with the help of medical imaging devices and a plan for treatment is made.
The patient is made lie on a bed that will go inside the gamma knife machine. A collimator helmet is fitted over the head frame. This device allows radiation to pass through and reach the tumor.
After the procedure,
The frame is removed from the head. This may cause pain or tenderness at the pin sites.
Patient may feel some discomfort, such as a headache or nausea.
In most cases, the patient can go home on the same day.
Risk and Complications
Although a very safe procedure, some known risks are
Swelling in the brain
Headache and nausea
Loss of balance
If you have any additional questions, talk to our in-house doctors. Call 1800-1022-733 (toll free).
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