Gamma Knife Treatment
Gamma Knife® PerfexionTM, available at Archbold, is a type of radiation treatment used to treat disorders in the brain and upper spine, such as brain tumors. This advanced treatment delivers highly accurate gamma radiation to the brain without any incisions. It has transformed treatment for patients across the region with brain disorders, brain tumors and other cancers that have traveled to the brain.
Archbold is one of only approximately 275 hospitals worldwide to offer Gamma Knife technology and is the only hospital in the Thomasville region with Gamma Knife Perfexion—the latest and most precise radiosurgery technology available. Using this state-of-the-art equipment, cancer treatment teams at Archbold have successfully treated more than 1,200 patients since the hospital-acquired it in 2003, thanks to the generosity of Archbold Foundation donors.
How Gamma Knife Works
Despite the name, there is no actual knife. Patients are fitted with a painless head frame that guides physicians to the portion of the brain that needs treatment. Only local anesthesia (about the same amount as dentists use) is involved in treatment, and it is given when the head frame is fitted. Then, you lie on a comfortable, flat surface that slides into a machine—similar to getting an MRI.
Once inside the machine, Perfexion delivers highly accurate doses of radiation that wrap around the complex shapes of the brain to treat a tumor or disorder. The radiation has virtually no effect on the healthy brain tissue it passes through. At the tumor site or area of affected tissue, all the beams meet to deliver a high dose of radiation.
Outpatient Procedure, Fast Recovery
Gamma Knife treatments take place on a single day and last anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours. Typically, only one session is necessary.
Because the treatments are fairly short, patients rarely, if ever, have to spend the night in the hospital, although an overnight stay would be arranged if a patient needed observation. Most patients return to day-to-day activities, including work, 24–48 hours after treatment. Typically, no physical therapy or other rehabilitation services are needed, saving you time and money.
Because Gamma Knife treatment is noninvasive and requires only a small amount of local anesthesia, the risk of complications is low. Local anesthesia is used when patients are fitted with a painless head frame that allows our physicians to deliver radiation accurately.
Effective treatment for a wide variety of brain conditions
Gamma Knife surgery is one-day, usually outpatient treatment. Occasionally a patient may stay overnight for observation. Most patients return to pre-treatment activities, including work, 24-48 hours later. Usually, no physical therapy or rehabilitation is needed. For all of these reasons, radiosurgery is an extremely cost-effective treatment.
Gamma Knife treatment may be used along with conventional surgery, chemotherapy or other radiation treatments. It is an option for patients with many conditions, including:
- Acoustic neuromas
- Benign brain tumors
- Head and Neck cancers
- Multiple metastatic tumors
- Pituitary adenomas
- Spinal arteriovenous malformations
- Spinal tumors
- Trigeminal neuralgia