Over the years, there has been a massive improvement in the medical industry with different equipment made with precision to treat dangerous diseases like cancers and complicated surgeries. One such treatment is the Gamma Knife radiation therapy, mainly used to treat brain abnormalities and tumors. This painless, non-invasive procedure does not require incision or hospitalization and is used to treat acoustic tremors, neuroma, trigeminal neuralgia, arteriovenous formations, and other serious tumors.
Treatment using gamma knife therapy
This treatment method mainly focuses on targeting abnormal brain cells and gradually destroying them with the help of solid beams of radiation. The therapy uses a radiation machine equipped with 201 different beams emitting gamma rays and is directly targeted to the area of the tumor from various angles. This method is exact, delivers high accuracy, and targets the problem-causing cells without damaging the other tissues surrounding it.
The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and typically requires a few hours. Although no medication is needed during the procedure, a local anesthetic might be given to numb the pain area. It is also called stereotactic radiosurgery or Gamma knife radiosurgery. A patient usually takes a nap or listens to music during the procedure.
After gamma knife surgery
Generally, after the treatment, the area subjected to radiation is cleaned with a chemical called hydrogen peroxide, followed by the application of an antibiotic where other bandages are applied to the area. However, some patients might experience nausea, which medication can treat. After the procedure, the patient is kept under observation for 30 minutes to an hour before discharge.
Most patients might experience some swelling or pressure within the head, which can be cured by placing the head in an elevated position for up to a week.
Benefits of gamma knife procedure
Compared to invasive surgeries, this procedure is followed by many benefits.
- Does not require an incision in the brain or on the scalp
- Targets all the lesions and tumors, even the ones located deep snide the brain, that traditional surgery methods can reach.
- Targets multiple tumors at the same time
- No risk of complications from surgery
- Does not damage the surrounding tissues and muscles
- No post-operative discomfort or other problems
- Patients can return to their everyday life in a day or two.
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, the procedure’s success rate depends on various factors like the type of tumor, its location, the patient’s medical history, and so on.
One of the primary aims of the procedure is to shrink the tumor site significantly or entirely and prevent it from reappearing in the body. However, the effects of this procedure can be seen after 2 – 6 months.