1. OVERVIEW: WHAT IS GAMMA KNIFE?
Gamma Knife – despite its name, there is no knife or scalpel involved, but Radiosurgery – a non invasive neurosurgical procedure that uses powerful doses of radiation to target and treat diseased brain tissue while leaving surrounding tissue intact. The ‘knife’ refers to 192 precise beams of radiation that attacks tumours and abnormalities, shrinking them over time or stopping their growth. There is no incisions in patient’s head, instead it is very precisely focused beams of radiation are directed to the treatment area in the brain.
This modern technology allows physicians to operate on brain lesions often considered inoperable. Gamma Knife treatment offers new hope for patients with brain tumours, vascular malformations and functional disorders.
2. BENEFITS OF GAMMA KNIFE TREATMENT
Gamma Knife surgery offers a safe and effective treatment for more than 40,000 patients every year. The treatment procedure is simple, painless and straightforward. Other benefits of Gamma Knife treatment are:
- It is a non-invasive surgery where it involves no incisions, hence there is minimum to no trauma to the brain
- May be utilised for inoperable cases – for example, when tumours lie deep within the brain or in most cases where illness prevent surgery.
- The treatment is focused at the abnormal lesion; therefore there is a greatly reduced chance of damage to surrounding tissue or nearby structures.
- It is only a one-day treatment and does not require hospital stay, if any would be overnight at the most, compared to maximum of 14 days for conventional surgery.
- Most patients will return to normal activities within few days.