The Treatment Process

Picture of consultation Before your treatment you will have a consultation with a radiation oncologist who will take your history and explain the procedure. You will also have an opportunity to watch a short patient video that will describe the procedure to you and your family.

Picture of attachment The day of your treatment you will be asked to arrive at the hospital very early in the morning and you will be given an intravenous medication to help relax you. A local anesthetic will be used to numb four sites on your head where pins will be used to attach a metal frame to your head for immobilization.

Picture of scan One of our Gamma Knife nurses will then take you for an MRI and a CT scan. The physician and physicist will use this information to plan your treatment.

Picture of waiting During the time that your treatment is being planned, the frame will remain attached to your head. You will be able to spend the time with your family in a private room while awaiting the treatment planning which usually takes 2-3 hours. A nurse will be available to you throughout that time should you need anything to make you more comfortable.

Picture of treatment When the treatment planning is complete you will then be taken to the Gamma Knife treatment room, where you will lie on the couch of the Gamma Knife and the frame will be attached to a positioning device. The staff will then leave the room but you will be monitored by a video camera and you will also be able to communicate with the staff via intercom. The couch will slide into a shielded dome and the gamma radiation will be administered. You will not feel anything during the treatment, which typically lasts 40 to 60 minutes.

Picture of detatchment Immediately following your treatment, the frame will be removed from your head and the pin sites will be cleaned and covered with small adhesive bandages. You will be monitored for about an hour by a nurse and then you will be able to go home. You should plan to have someone drive you home. Some patients may require an overnight stay for additional observation.

Picture of resumimg routine A nurse will call you within 24 hours of your treatment to ensure that you are not having any problems following your treatment. Most patients are able to resume normal activities within 24 to 48 hours. You will have a follow-up visit with your radiation oncologist in approximately 2 weeks.