The first step in Gamma Knife treatment is consultation with the physicians specially trained to perform the procedure. You will meet with a neurosurgeon, as well as a radiation oncologist, to discuss your medical history and treatment options.
Once Gamma Knife has been identified as the best treatment choice for your case, our nurse coordinator will contact you or your caregiver to schedule treatment. All paperwork and insurance pre-certification will be completed prior to admission.
On treatment day, you will be admitted directly to the Gamma Knife Center and the neurosurgeon will meet you to place the stereotactic frame on your head. The frame is attached with four small pins using local anesthetic. Mild sedation is available upon request. The frame allows our doctors to accurately pinpoint the target area and also prevents head movement during imaging and treatment.
Once the frame is attached, the patient is imaged using standard equipment such as MRI or CT scans to determine the exact size, shape and location of the target in the brain.
Using the newly acquired images, the team develops a very precise and accurate treatment plan to meet your specific needs. This computer-assisted process may take an hour or more, during which time you will rest with the frame in place.
After the plan has been completed, treatment begins. The head frame is attached to the Gamma Knife helmet. The process is silent and painless, and you will remain awake. The treatment may last a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on the shape and complexity of the target.
When treatment is complete, the head frame is removed and your doctor will determine if you can go home immediately. Most patients typically leave within 24 hours of completing treatment and resume normal activities in a few days.