What are the Risks of Gamma Knife Surgery?

By: Groshan Fabiola

Gamma knife surgery is today the most trusted and advanced form of radiosurgery available. Trigeminal neuralgia and acoustic neuroma gamma knife treatments have proven to be highly effective and precise, as well as relatively quick and pain free. While some treatments work in conjunction with traditional surgery, many gamma knife treatments are completely non-invasive, meaning no actual incisions are made into the patient’s head. Rather, the gamma knife works by aiming approximately 200 beams of highly focused radiation into a single target area of the brain.

As with any type of surgical operation, there are some risks and side effects associated with gamma knife treatments, though they are not as serious and occur far less frequently than with other more conventional types of brain surgery. Some of the negative side effects include things like nausea and headaches, both of which are usually related to the application and removal of the head brace required for the operation of the gamma knife’s guiding system. Risks include possible, though temporary, loss of hearing and a deterioration of the patient’s balance, as well as deterioration of vision. Temporary imbalance, numbness and physical weakness are also side effects that can occur as a result of gamma knife treatments.

These complications and risks are usually minimal, however, and patients rarely report having any major negative effects as a result of gamma knife surgery. Many of the risks associated with the treatment come not as a result of the procedure itself but are rather associated with the condition that is being treated. In order to maintain a high level of patient care and reduce the chances of negative effects, most gamma knife centers go to great lengths to ensure that patients are ready and qualified to undergo the treatment.

Gamma knife patient selection is done by a multidisciplinary panel of neurosurgeons and radiation specialists that study the patient’s particular condition and come up with a detailed plan, using diagnostic data from patient examinations and imaging studies to assess the patient’s general health. Patients who’ve undergone other brain disorder treatment methods, such as chemotherapy or open brain surgery are still safely eligible for gamma knife surgery. Overall, gamma knife surgery is among the safest forms of brain disorder treatment methods. The use of the gamma knife for trigeminal neuralgia and other brain disorder treatments remains the quickest and most efficient option.

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For more resources regarding gamma knife surgery or even about acoustic neuroma gamma knife and especially about gamma knife trigeminal neuralgia please review these pages.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder why it is so difficult to find acutal patient stories of their experience, side effects, good and or bad results, with Gamma Knife. Every other treatment had numerous message boards about patient experiences and recommendations, etc. What's with Gamma Knife? No one wants to talk about it?

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