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Gamma Knife Treatment

Step 1: Before the treatment

Before you have treatment your doctor will explain the entire process to you, and answer any questions you may have. Gamma Knife 'Surgery' does not require any cutting or shaving of your hair. The nurse will contact you prior to treatment to discuss any further questions or concerns.

Step 2: Fitting of the head frame

An essential component to the Gamma Knife treatment procedure is the use of a specialised precision head frame. The head frame performs two important functions. Firstly, it allows the doctors to very precisely and accurately pinpoint the area requiring treatment. Secondly, wearing the frame during treatment it ensures you remain completely still throughout the procedure.

Step 3: Target localisation

Once the head frame has been fitted, a series of tests will be performed, this includes imaging techniques such as MRI, CT or angiography. This is to determine the exact size and location of the target area.

Step 4: Treatment planning

This step is performed without the patient present. The information gained from the imaging in step 3 is used by your doctors with the assistance of highly trained Medical Physicists and Radiation Therapists to develop an accurate and customised treatment plan. Every plan is unique and tailored to the specific requirements of each patient.

Step 5: Gamma Knife treatment

Once the treatment plan has been completed your treatment can begin. With your head frame attached you will be positioned on the treatment couch. The procedure is completely painles and you will remain awake throughout the procedure with the treatment team monitoring you the whole time.

The length of the treatment will vary from patient to patient and depends on the size and shape of the target area. The treatment time may only be as long as a few minutes or up to an hour.

You are encouraged to bring a friend or family member along or any music you wish to listen to during your treatment.

Step 6: After Treatment

Following treatment, the head frame and pins will be removed. Generally you will feel no effects of the treatment; however some patients may experience a mild headache or minor swelling from where the frame was attached.

Step 7: Follow up

An appointment will be made for you to see your doctor after your treatment. The effectiveness of your Gamma Knife treatment will be evaluated over time. The radiation treatment is designed to stop the growth of tumours or dysfunctional tissue, therefore it may take weeks or even months before the full benefit of the treatment may be realised. It may be necessary to have follow-up imaging such as MRI or CT and your doctor will provide you with the details if needed.

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Genesis Logo Small.pngGenesisCare is Australia’s leading provider of radiation oncology, cardiology and sleep treatments. We exist to fill the treatment gap for the biggest disease burdens in Australia - cancer and heart care - in an environment of substantial unmet demand from an ageing population. Click here to learn more