Gamma Knife radiosurgery is one of the most preferred radiation therapy used to treat abnormalities in the brain, including vascular malformations and tumors. It is referred to as stereotatic radiosurgery with high precision and accurate delivery of up to nearly 200 tiny beams of radiation on the target area.
An extremely high effective treatment, a single Gamma Knife radiosurgery session, is equivalent to almost 30 treatments of radiation therapy sessions.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a very different type of surgery that is performed without making any incisions. Generally, it is a stand-alone therapy and a daycare procedure for some.
India is one of the leading nations offering gamma knife radiosurgery at highly affordable prices. Neurosurgeons in India offer gamma knife radiosurgery across accredited hospitals in India.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is done to treat various abnormalities in the brain, such as
- Brain tumor – Cancerous as well as noncancerous
- Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) – This condition refers to tangled arteries and veins through the blood flows bypassing the capillaries leading to a high risk of a stroke or bleeding in the brain.
- Trigeminal neuralgia – This condition causes facial pain which is similar to that of an electric shock. It is a disorder of the trigeminal nerves and affects the cheeks, the forehead, and the lower jaw.
- Acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma – It refers to a noncancerous tumor that develops in the pathway of balance and hearing beginning from the inner ear to the brain.
- Pituitary tumors that cause issues in the body as the pituitary gland controls the secretion and functioning of the hormones in the body.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment can reduce and shrink the size of the tumor and remove the tangled nerves; hence, it is considered a safer option compared to a traditional brain surgery that requires invading and dissecting the brain tissue making it a complex affair.
Upon examination, the neurosurgeon will recommend a Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment, in case –
- The patient is weak to bear the pressures and risk of a traditional brain surgery
- The patient wishes for a minimally invasive treatment
- The location of the tumor is deep within the brain, which makes it difficult to treat
The procedure of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
- A Gamma Knife Radiosurgery procedure is an outpatient procedure. If required, the neurosurgeon will suggest an overnight stay.
- The process may take an hour or up to four hours maximum from start to finish.
- An IV line is connected to keep the patient hydrated during the procedure.
- The head of the patient is fitted with a headframe to stop the brain from moving.
- A lightweight headset is attached to the head using screws or hooks.
- The areas that will contain the head frame are given numbing injections
- If required, hair is shaved off in the scalp area
- Once the head frame is fitted, either an MRI or CT scan is performed to determine the location, size and other details of the tumor.
- The radiation treatment group will study the imaging result and decide how to perform the gamma knife radiation treatment.
- The patient will be fitted with a helmet over the frame, which has holes that allow the radiation to pass through it.
- The patient will not hear a sound and or feel any pain or discomfort.
- The patient can converse with the doctor through a microphone.
- The exact time taken for the procedure depends upon the size and the location of the treatment area.
Risk of complications associated with the Gamma Knife surgery procedure
- Swelling of the brain and related symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache
- Feeling tired soon in the initial weeks
- Numbness, loss of balance, seizures
- Issues in vision
- If taken during pregnancy, it may lead to defects in the child
- Temporary hair loss
- Scalp may turn red, sensitive, and irritated, especially in the area where the frame was attached during the treatment.
The advantages of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
- Highly reliable non – invasive surgical therapy
- No harm to the normal tissue
- Precision targeting to kill abnormal cells
- minimal and speedy recovery from a gamma knife therapy
Keen to go ahead with a Gamma knife Radiosurgery?
Your decision should take into account the following factors –
- The country of treatment
- The treating hospital
- The costs involved, especially the doctor’s charges and the procedure charges
- Expenses towards medicines
- Expenses toward diagnostic tests
- Follow-up care charges