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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What Is Gamma Knife Surgery?

What Is Gamma Knife Surgery?

Gamma knife surgery

A radiation therapy, Credits: pixabay

Gamma knife is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery.

It involves radiation to treat brain disorders and vascular malformations.

The blades utilized on the gamma knife are the concentrated gamma ray beams. 192 radiation beams are specifically directed toward the brain injury/target location.

Since the beams are extremely focused, the surrounding healthy tissue is far less likely to destroy it.

What Are The Advantages Of Gamma Knife Surgery?

There are fewer risks and complications of the surgery.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and there is little post-treatment discomfort or pain.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation are also not required following this surgery.

What For Gamma Knife Surgery Is Used For?

Gamma knife surgery to treat brain tumors

Brain, Credits: pixabay

Gamma knife surgery is used to treat the following conditions as Follows:

  1. Acoustic neuroma

  2. Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)

  3. Brain tumors (both cancer and non-cancer)

  4. Tremors due to essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease

  5. Trigeminal neuralgia

  6. Some types of epilepsy

The gamma knife can be a powerful tool for patients who cannot undergo traditional surgery due to their conditions and age. Sometimes this procedure is combined with a traditional surgery to prevent tumor regrowth. The outcome of the procedure cannot be expected immediately and this procedure is not recommended for conditions that require immediate treatment.

What Happens During The Procedure?

Your physician may perform a complete examination and advises for the necessary investigations.

You must inform your doctor the medications you are taking for diabetes, and have any implantable devices in your body.

You must not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before your procedure.

Wash your scalp the night before your Gamma Knife®. Wear your hair loose, avoiding the use of clips, pins, or bands. Do not use hair spray or other styling products. Your head will not be shaved.

You can use your morning medications, and bring all the prescribed and over-the-counter medicines with you if you have any.

CT scans

A radiation specialist analyzing, Credits: pexels

The procedure involved during the radiosurgery is as follows:

  1. An IV line is inserted which provides easy access to deliver contrast agents for your computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The IV line provides a little amount of sedation and when necessary patients are put on general anesthesia.

  2. A box-shaped frame is attached to your head that is meant to position your head exactly for the focused treatment.

  3. Four injections of local anesthetics are given. Special pins are placed to fasten the head frame to your skull. After the head frame is properly positioned, a radiation therapist takes measurements of your head to plan for the treatment.

  4. Then, a CT and MRI scan is taken to determine the exact location of the lesion.

  5. Then the exact procedure is initiated where your head frame will be attached to a bracket on the Gamma Knife® couch that will hold your head in the precise position for your treatment.

  6. The Gamma Knife® couch you lie on will slowly move into the Gamma Knife® machine that delivers the radiation. Most treatments take 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the size, shape, and location of the lesion and number of radiation doses (“shots”).

  7. Finally, your head frame will be removed. The pin sites will be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and an antibiotic ointment and bandages will be applied. The IV will be removed.

  8. In some instances, treatment may be repeated in a few weeks. Most patients require 1-5 treatment sessions.

What Are The Risks Associated With The Procedure?

Some of the risks associated with the Gamma Knife procedure include fatigue, dizziness, numbness, seizures, swelling in the brain at or near the treatment site, scalp, and hair problems.

Gamma Knife Surgery In India

Here is a list of top 10 gamma knife surgery hospitals in India:

  1. Fortis Hospital Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore

  2. Artemis Hospital, New Delhi

  3. Global hospital, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad

  4. Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon

  5. Indraprastha Apollo hospital, New Delhi

  6. Max Super specialty hospital, New Delhi

  7. Primus Super specialty hospital, New Delhi

  8. BLK Super specialty hospital, New Delhi

  9. Paras hospitals, New Delhi

  10. Jaypee hospitals, New Delhi

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