Contrary to the term Knife in Gamma Knife Surgery, it is a non-invasive procedure that is mainly performed on patients undergoing treatment for brain cancer. The tiny beam of radiation penetrates through the brain’s cells to destroy the affected cells, keeping healthy cells intact.
According to medical reports and success stories, the procedure has a success rate of 90% in shrinking tumor cells and stopping their growth. It is the best radiosurgery for:
- Brain cancer
- Benign brain tumors
- Metastatic brain tumors
- Arteriovenous Malformation or other brain abnormalities
- Facial pain
Destroying brain tumors using gamma knife surgery
Gamma Knife surgery, also called stereotactic surgery, uses one or more 3-D positioning tools to shoot radiation doses to the affected area. This kills the affected cells in the area without causing pain or discomfort to the patient.
This is done by fixing a frame over the patient’s head to pinpoint the exact location and keep their head in position. Then, by carefully examining the patient’s condition and the intensity of treatment needed, a team of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and radiation physicists plan the amount of radiation needed to treat the lesion or decrease the shape of the tumor.
Once the amount of radiation is decided, the gamma knife machine aims hundreds of tiny radiation beams at the affected spot since each beam is weak to damage the affected cell by itself. Hence, hundreds of beams meet at a spot, and their combination helps in destroying diseased cells or tissues.
Since the procedure guaranty accuracy, it is recommended for patients to receive a full radiation dose in a single session. Although the procedure lasts for a couple of hours, the results of it will unfold after many months.
What conditions does the procedure treat?
Here is a list of conditions/diseases treated by the procedure:
- Brain cancer
- Skull base tumors
- Metastatic brain tumor
- Acoustic neuromas
- Pituitary tumors
- Brain abnormalities
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Essential tremor
- Parkinson’s diseases
Oncologists also recommend gamma knife procedure for patients with one or more of the following conditions:
- Patients with brain tumors where it difficult to reach the affected area through traditional surgical methods.
- When the tumors are close to critical areas like the optic nerve or the brain stem
- Patients who are not healthy to have a brain surgery
- Patients who have a history of brain tumors and traditional surgery has not worked
- Patients already undergoing chemo or radiation therapy for cancer
- Patients whose cancer has recurred after previous radiations