Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
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The Gamma Knife team includes a neurosurgeon, a radiation oncologist, a physicist and several nurse specialists.
Gamma Knife treatment consists of five steps:

STEP ONE


The first step in the Gamma Knife treatment involves application of a frame to the head.  Patients are given a mild sedative and then the scalp is injected with numbing medicine. Four pins are then inserted to fix the frame to the head so that it does not move throughout the procedure.  This step generally takes about 5 minutes.

STEP TWO


The second step in Gamma Knife treatment is obtaining an MRI scan.  Even if the patient has had a recent MRI scan, a new one is required with the head frame in place.  The MRI taken while the patient is wearing the head frame allows the computer program to localize the tumor or other target.  Patients being treated for an AVM will also need an angiogram.  Patients who have a pacemaker or some other condition that limits them from having an MRI, can be treated using a CAT scan.

STEP THREE


The third step is computer planning.  Special computer software allows exact targeting of the brain lesion.  A treatment plan is created to precisely conform to the shape of the target lesion.

STEP FOUR


The fourth step involves placing the patient on the Gamma Knife table.  During the actual treatment, the patient rests comfortably and listens to music.  There is no noise or pain.

STEP FIVE


After the treatment is completed, the patient is taken off the Gamma Knife table and returned to a treatment room.  The head frame is removed, and band-aids are placed on the forehead.  After a short observation period, the patient is discharged home.  A follow-up appointment is made to see Dr. Grabel in 1-2 weeks.
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