Gamma Knife is an excellent
minimally invasive option
compared to traditional surgery
What to Expect During
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
What is Gamma Knife? Though the name may sound like a surgical procedure, Gamma Knife is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses multiple focused radiation beams to target a highly specific area.
Because it is so focused, Gamma Knife radiosurgery does not affect as much of the surrounding tissue as traditional radiation therapy, such as whole-brain radiation, resulting in fewer side effects. Additionally, because it is completely non-invasive, Gamma Knife does not carry any of the risks associated with surgery, has less post-procedural pain and has a minimal recovery period.
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 custom-formed mesh, designed to fit your face perfectly. 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 and physicists to place it on your head before imaging. If you need a custom mask, the hospital can make it before the actual day of treatment to help streamline the day’s events.
Once the head immobilization is complete, hospital staff will escort you to the MRI or CT procedure rooms for appropriate imaging. Your neurosurgeon and a team of radiation specialists will then use these images to identify the targeted treatment area.
Both of these imaging procedures are painless. Treatment teams generally perform imaging on the day of your Gamma Knife radiosurgery but it may be performed one to two days prior.
Determining the Treatment Plan
After receiving your imaging results, the team of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons and physicists will identify the targeted treatment area and plan the delivery of your personalized treatment. Once they’ve completed the customized treatment plan, 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.
Your neurosurgeon and/or radiation oncologist and Nurse Navigator will accompany you 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 thoroughly check the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon and your Nurse Navigator will prepare you for the procedure.
When your treatment is complete, the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon will automatically move the table out of the unit, which allows 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.
Schedule a Consultation and Tour Our Facility
At The Valley Gamma Knife Center, you have access to a team of highly skilled neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, physicists, nurses and experienced staff to treat your unique needs. As a part of the Valley Health System, we believe the overall patient journey should be at the center of your treatment.
Meet The Team
The Gamma Knife Center at The Valley Hospital is staffed by highly qualified physicians who have treated hundreds of patients and leverage a multidisciplinary approach to provide better outcomes. Our support staff, including Nurse Navigators and Patient Financial Advocates, are by your side through every step of your journey to recovery.
Get Your Questions Answered, By a Real Person.
Our Patient Liaisons are here to help you understand your next step. After discussing your specific case, they can help you navigate your medical records, answer insurance questions, and connect you with one of our nurses, at no charge to you.
For your convenience and safety, we offer both virtual and in-person consultations.