What to Expect

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  • What Can I Expect?

    During your first visit to our Center, you will see a Radiation Oncologist, a Neurosurgeon, and a nurse who will obtain a complete history and physical. In addition to a tour of the facility, any questions you may have regarding Gamma Knife treatment will be addressed. This visit is usually completed the day before your scheduled Gamma Knife treatment.

    When you arrive on the day of treatment you will be prepped for stereotactic frame placement, and either MRI or CT imaging. Following the scan, you will return for additional measurements while the images are sent to the treatment-planning computer. If a family member is with you, they may visit at this time.

    Once the treatment plan is completed, you are ready for Gamma Knife surgery. The treatment itself is painless. You will be positioned on the couch of the Gamma Knife. The frame is locked into the automatic positioning system and your head is immobilized, although you can still talk, cough, or sneeze. The couch slowly moves into the Gamma Knife unit, and the collimator helmet gently docks with the central body. Your whole body does not enter the unit and it will not feel confining. During treatment you will not see, feel or hear anything, and you may listen to your favorite music. Physicians and nurses from outside the room will constantly monitor you. They are in contact through means of video cameras and a two-way intercom.

    When Are Treatments Usually Scheduled?

    The staff at the Gamma Knife Center, after taking into consideration the doctors’, Center’s and patient’s availability, will schedule your Gamma Knife treatment.

    What Happens After The Treatment?

    After your treatment is completed, the frame is removed and the pin sites are dressed. Your family member will be allowed into the room with you at that time. Our nurses will keep you under observation until you meet the criteria for discharge. Discharge instructions are reviewed with family members and you will be escorted to your vehicle via wheelchair.

    Following Gamma Knife surgery, you may receive a letter recommending follow up MRI or CT scans. The schedule for follow-up can be discussed with the physician or nurse.

    No Two People Are Exactly Alike

    It is important to remember that no two centers or treatment plans are exactly alike. At our Center, the family is involved as much as possible.

    The experience of other patients may not apply to you. Your doctor and nurse know you as an individual. They can provide you with the best answers to your questions or concerns.