If your doctor has recommended Gamma Knife radiosurgery to treat your condition, one of your next steps will be finding a Gamma Knife treatment center in the tristate area. Even if you are still in the treatment planning phase, it can be helpful to understand more about your options. Educating yourself about your condition and treatment options is a powerful way to equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your health.
The following information will help you better understand the treatment and what to look for when choosing Gamma Knife surgery locations in NY/NJ. You’re already going through enough right now and, hopefully, this helps make your search a little bit easier.
What is Gamma Knife Radiosurgery?
Before discussing what to look for when choosing a Gamma Knife treatment center, it may be helpful to talk about the procedure itself. Gamma Knife is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery, an advanced form of radiation therapy. The procedure itself is minimally invasive and is done on an outpatient basis, which means there’s no hospital stay.
Though it uses radiation, there are fewer unpleasant side effects than those commonly associated with traditional radiation therapy. This is because Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses 192 individual beams of high-dose radiation, which combine to treat an area as precise as 0.15 mm. That may be hard to imagine, but it’s less than the width of a single human hair. As a result, healthy surrounding tissues are spared.
What Conditions Can Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Treat?
Gamma Knife radiosurgery was developed specifically to treat conditions of the brain, head and neck. Sometimes it is used alone as a primary form of treatment, but it may also be used following surgery, such as the surgical removal of a brain tumor. While not all patients are candidates for Gamma Knife radiosurgery, it may be used to treat the following conditions:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Arteriovenous malformation
- Brain metastasis
- Pineal tumor
- Pituitary tumor
- Skull base tumor
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Vascular malformation
- Vestibular schwannoma
What Should Be Considered When Choosing a Gamma Knife Treatment Center?
There are options when choosing your Gamma Knife surgery location. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Chances are you haven’t had to do this before, so here are some things to look for when deciding where to schedule your treatment.
Look for a doctor who specializes in using Gamma Knife radiosurgery to treat your specific condition. For example, a Gamma Knife center may specialize in treating brain tumors but has no experience in managing trigeminal neuralgia. Finding an experienced doctor will help ensure you receive the most appropriate care.
Consider what qualities are important to you in a doctor. Then keep an eye out for these qualities as you research a treatment center. Watch for keywords in online patient reviews. Some suggestions include things like “compassionate,” “understanding,” “empathetic” and “experienced.” If you go in for a consult and don’t feel like the center embodies the qualities you are looking for, consider continuing your search.
Find out what patient resources are available. Some Gamma Knife treatment centers offer services that can help make your experience less stressful. Does the center have an insurance specialist who can help you understand your benefits? Maybe they offer 24-hour access to a nurse who can answer your questions over the phone. These little extras can make the process easier for you, letting you focus on other things.
Find the Right Gamma Knife Treatment Center for You
You’re likely going through a lot right now. Take a little time to consider the information provided here before beginning your search for a Gamma Knife treatment center. Undergoing any medical procedure can be stressful, so finding a treatment center and team that makes you comfortable is an important step in this process.
As you move forward, continue to educate yourself about your condition and treatment options, including Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Enhancing your understanding can help you in your conversations with your doctor and give you more confidence as you make treatment decisions. If you have any lingering questions about choosing a Gamma Knife treatment center, bring them up with your referring doctor. He or she may be able to help provide answers as you navigate through your options.