Below are common questions asked about Gamma Knife treatment. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for or would like a consultation or second opinion, please call The Gamma Knife Center’s Nurse Navigator at 201-634-5677 or submit this form.
1. Is treatment painful?
No. You can’t feel the radiation being used. You may have some temporary discomfort from the medication that’s used to numb the area where the pins are placed.
2. How many treatments will I need?
One of the many benefits of the Gamma Knife is that treatment is performed, with very few exceptions, in a single session. In specific cases, the gamma knife can be repeated.
3. What are the possible side effects?
The risks of undergoing Gamma Knife treatment are minimal. Some people experience temporary symptoms such as numbness where the pins were placed, scalp irritation or sensitivity, and temporary swelling at or around the treatment site. In rare cases, temporary hair loss may occur. It is important to speak to your treating physician regarding potential side effects specific to your condition.
4. Will I be radioactive?
No. Radiation from Gamma Knife treatment does not stay in the body.
5. How quickly does treatment work?
The treatment effects of all types of radiation treatments are delayed. This means that patients will often feel exactly the same within the days following their single treatment session. In the case of facial pain (trigeminal neuralgia), we hope to observe an improvement in pain within 2-12 weeks after Gamma Knife. When treating cancerous brain tumors with Gamma Knife, we often see results within the first 3-6 months.
6. How will I know if I’m a candidate?
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a viable option for many people, including those who can’t undergo surgery because of the location of the tumor, age or other health considerations. It can also serve as a supplemental treatment to traditional neurosurgery and previous radiation therapy. The decision to undergo Gamma Knife treatment is one that is reached with the consultation of our team of specialists, who will take every possible factor into consideration before recommending appropriate Gamma Knife treatment.
7. Can my family member(s) and/or friend(s) stay with me during treatment?
Family and friends are welcome to stay with you in our quiet room during your stay. We do ask that family wait in our lobby during head frame placement and removal.
8. What should I wear on the day of my treatment?
You will want to wear comfortable clothing that does not contain any metal materials. Sweatpants with an elastic or tie waist are recommended so you may wear them during your MRI.
9. Can I eat normally before treatment?
Before coming in for your treatment, you may have a light breakfast. You are welcome to bring food and snacks to have during your stay. In addition, we provide complimentary snacks for both you and your family.
Complete the contact form below or call The Gamma Knife Center at The Valley Hospital at 201-634-5677 to set up a consultation and receive more information.
Please note that we cannot respond to inquiries outside of the United States.
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The Valley Hospital is pleased to be one of the first hospitals in the United States to offer the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon — the latest technology for the treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors and neurological conditions in the brain.