Your doctor has recommended Gamma Knife radiosurgery to treat your condition, so now your next step is to find the right specialist to perform your Gamma Knife treatment in northern NJ. This is likely a new experience for you, and you will need to go through the process of finding and selecting the treatment center that meets your needs.
To help you along your way, the following information will give you a little more background on Gamma Knife radiosurgery, what to look for in a doctor and how to even begin your search.
What is Gamma Knife, and Who is a Good Candidate?
Before selecting a doctor, it can be helpful to understand more about your treatment. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery, an advanced radiation therapy technique delivered in an outpatient setting. During the procedure, you will be awake and able to communicate. Most people can return home shortly after their treatment sessions end.
During the procedure itself, you will lie on a table with a headframe or custom mask that ensures you remain perfectly still. The Gamma Knife Icon system uses 192 individual, low-dose beams of energy to target the treatment site, delivering a combined dose to a highly specific area. This accuracy avoids unnecessary damage to nearby healthy tissues, resulting in fewer of the unpleasant side effects sometimes associated with radiation therapy.
Many patients with conditions affecting the brain and skull base in the tri-state area are candidates for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Some of the conditions treated using Gamma Knife radiosurgery by specialists in the NJ and NYC area include:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Arteriovenous malformation
- Brain metastases
- Pineal tumors
- Pituitary tumors
- Skull base tumors
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Vascular malformation
- Vestibular schwannoma
Finding the Right Doctor in Northern NJ
The following tips will help you as you begin searching for the right doctor to perform your Gamma Knife treatment in northern NJ. Taking a little extra time during the selection process will help ensure that you are being treated by a doctor who suits your needs as an individual.
Searching for Your Doctor
The first step in finding your doctor in NJ is to know where to look. Although the Yellow Pages may be a thing of the past, you have a wealth of resources available online, right at your fingertips. In this connected age, you can look to the experiences of other patients, even if you don’t personally know anyone who has undergone Gamma Knife treatment in northern NJ. Read through reviews written by other patients, particularly if they have been treated for the same condition you have been diagnosed with.
The websites of Gamma Knife treatment centers and hospitals are also good sources for patient reviews. These reviews offer useful information that can help you discern what sorts of conditions the doctors there are treating and how patients feel about their experiences.
You can take a more traditional approach and reach out to friends, family, co-workers and even your physician for recommendations. You may find that someone you know, directly or indirectly, has experience with a doctor they would recommend.
Your insurance company may also be able to provide you with a list of doctors who perform Gamma Knife treatment in northern NJ to give you a jumping-off point to begin your research.
Important Attributes in a Doctor
Take a few minutes to consider what qualities matter to you when working with a doctor. This can help you while you read through other people’s experiences. Plus, you can keep an eye out for keywords and phrases that you find important.
This will be a personal process, so taking a little time to really focus in on what matters most to you will help you find a doctor who will be the right fit for you. Some attributes you may wish to consider include:
Consider Patient Resources
There are some other, less obvious things you may wish to take into consideration as you look for the right doctor for your Gamma Knife treatment in northern NJ. The first is the availability of a nurse on-call, reachable by telephone if you have any questions or concerns, day or night. Many group practices and hospitals offer this service, and it can be invaluable if you have any issues that arise outside of business hours.
A second patient resource you may wish to keep a lookout for is a dedicated insurance benefits specialist who is available to help you navigate your personal health insurance policy and determine how it applies to your treatment. The nuances and fine print of an insurance policy can be difficult to wade through, and it can be helpful to have someone available to assist you throughout the process.
Finding the Right Doctor for You
The fact that you are taking the time to learn more about your condition and treatment options shows that you are interested in playing an active role in your care. By putting a little extra effort in as you are looking for a doctor to perform your Gamma Knife treatment in northern NJ, you can ensure that you find the person who is the right fit for you.