Gamma knife treatment, also known as Laksell Gamma knife treatment, is a treatment using radiation to treat tumors in the brain. This method 201 uses cobalt-induced high radiation. The method, which was developed in the 60s, has been developed to date and is a very safe method for patients suffering from brain tumors. During this process, the cobalt is placed in a circular device which allows the radiation to be sent to the desired location of the brain.
Gamma knife treatment has been developed especially for the treatment of disorders in the head, neck and brain area and cancer treatment. Surgery with this method can kill cancer cells, effectively shrink tumors and prevent damage to healthy tissues. Gamma rays can focus on one or more points, so treatment requires one session. In general, gamma knife treatment is used for the treatment of benign or malignant tumors in the brain, but it can also be used in the treatment of vascular malformation and parkinson's.
The gamma knife treatment have advantages such as:
● It is a painless, incision-free radiosurgery system
● It can treat one or more sites during one session
● The procedure does not require overnight hospital stay
● It is a great way to treat inaccessible tumors within the brain
● Patients can return to normal activities in less than 24 hours
● The system can be safely used again if results are not satisfactory after one treatment session
Surveys on this method, which is used in approximately 600,000 patients worldwide, have shown great results.
Gamma knife treatment is recommended if you have the following conditions:
● Trigeminal neuralgia
● Pineal region tumors
● Skull base tumors
● Pituitary adenomas
● Acoustic neuromas
● Small or medium-volume intracranial arteriovenous malformations
● Metastatic tumors
Gamma knife treatment is not recommended if one of the following conditions exists:
● Patients with a lesion or tumor bigger than 4 cm in diameter
● Patients suffering from a tumor with an edge that is less than 3 mm away from the optic chiasm
First, a stereotactic frame is placed in the head region of the patient. The frame is attached to the head with four pins. These pins penetrate up to 2 mm. Local anesthesia may be used for this procedure. General anesthesia may be appropriate if the patient is too young or very anxious. MRIs and CT scans are then performed to establish the treatment plan.
The stereotactic frame is important for keeping the patient's head steady. Under the gamma knife system, the patient must be on a treatment table. Subsequently, the neurosurgeon and oncologist perform the procedure with 0.1 mm accuracy without damaging the healthy tissues of the patient. After providing the required level of radiation with the gamma knife, the stereoscopic frame is removed and the patient can resume normal activities.
Overnight stay is not required
No recovery is needed for this method – patients may turn back to usual activities on the day of the treatment.
After gamma knife radiosurgery, edema and damage to the brain tissue may occur at the operation site. These complications are expected to occur 6 months after the operation. Most complications go away with appropriate medical treatment. Very rarely, sensory loss may occur due to the proximity of the tumor to the eye and ear area. Local hair loss is common.
Side effects of gamma knife radiosurgery are extremely rare. However, some degree of discomfort, nausea and headache may still be seen postoperatively. In some patients, placement of a stereotactic frame may cause pain.
The probability of success of gamma knife treatment is between about 70% and 90%, depending on the condition of the tumor or lesion.
Patients will be asked to perform follow-up tests within a few months after gamma knife radio surgery.
– Are there any alternatives to gamma knife radiosurgery?
Yes, cyberknife can also be used, but it depends on the type of tumor and its location.
– How long does the procedure last?
It depends on the type of tumor and its size.
– Can gamma knife radiosurgery treat epilepsy?
Yes, but only certain cases.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in October, 2019.