What to Expect During
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

First Step

What to Expect During Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

First Step Description

Outpatient Consult

The Nurse Navigator will gather all the pertinent information that is required for your visit, as well as set a date and time for your consult. At your consult, you will meet with your doctors and Nurse Navigator to determine if you are a qualified candidate for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. During that visit, a review of your medical records and diagnostic findings will be discussed. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the procedure, Gamma Knife risks and side effects, or what patients can expect after Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

Facility Tour at Lukow Pavilion
If you would like, a member of our team will give you a tour around the state-of-the-art facility. During this tour, you can request to see the treatment room and ask any additional questions you may have.

Procedure Scheduling
Once it is determined that you are a qualified Gamma Knife candidate, your Nurse Navigator will review the pertinent information needed for your procedure. She will also set a date and time for your procedure. Unlike most invasive surgical procedures, Gamma Knife radiosurgery does not require the patient to avoid eating and drinking prior to the procedure. As a result, there should be minimal disruption to your everyday routine.

Second Step

What to Expect During Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Second Step Description

Quiet Room
On the day of your Gamma Knife procedure, you will be led to the Quiet Room. In the Quiet Room, you can listen to music, watch tv, relax and wait for your scheduled procedure.


Head Stabilizing
A headframe or mask is required to ensure the pinpoint accuracy of Gamma Knife radiosurgery. The headframe is a lightweight metal device that sits on your head. The mask is an alternative method of head stabilization. It is made of a custom-formed mesh, which is designed to perfectly fit your face. Neither method requires you to shave any hair. The neurosurgeon will determine which method of immobilization is best for your specific treatment. If a headframe is selected, the neurosurgeon will work with the Nurse Navigator to place it on your head prior to imaging. If a custom mask is selected, the mask can be made prior to the actual day of treatment to help streamline the day’s events.

Once the head immobilization is complete, you will be escorted to the MRI or CT procedure rooms for appropriate imaging.  These images will then be used by your neurosurgeon and a team of radiation specialists to identify the targeted treatment area. Both of these imaging procedures are painless. Imaging is generally performed on the day of your procedure but under special circumstances, may be performed one to two days prior.

Third Step

What to Expect During Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Third Step Description

Determining the Treatment Plan
After your imaging results have been received the team of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons and physicists will identify the targeted treatment area and plan the delivery of your personalized treatment. Once the customized treatment plan has been completed, your doctor will review it with you. At that point, your doctor will be able to tell you how long your procedure will take. In most cases, the Gamma Knife procedure takes anywhere from 10 to 70 minutes to complete.

Fourth Step

What to Expect During Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Fourth Step Description

Treatment Room
You will be accompanied by your neurosurgeon and/or radiation oncologist and Nurse Navigator into the Gamma Knife treatment room. They will help orient you on the treatment table, secure the head immobilization and answer any questions you may have. The team will do a thorough check of the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon and your Nurse Navigator will prepare you for the procedure.


The procedure is painless and silent. Soft music will be playing in the background.

You can speak with and hear your doctor throughout the procedure.

 Most treatments are completed in under 70 minutes.

Fifth Step

What to Expect During Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

First Step Description


When your treatment is complete, the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon will automatically move the table out of the unit, which should allow you to easily dismount. You will then be escorted back to the Quiet Room for headframe removal and to receive a post-treatment assessment.

Patient is Discharged
You can expect to go home within an hour of the completion of your Gamma Knife treatment. Before you head home, the Nurse Navigator will review discharge instructions and coordinate a follow-up appointment visit with you. Most patients return to their normal activities within 24 to 48 hours.

See if Gamma Knife
is right for you.

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