GAMMA KNIFE TREATMENT PROCESS
When the patient first applies for the Gamma Knife treatment, the patients illness history is studied, a physical examination is carried out and the radiological images are examined. After the patient is entirely evaluated the optimal treatment options are determined and the advantages and disadvantages of these options are explained to the patient. The most appropriate treatment is decided upon in accordance to the expectations and opinions of the patient.
When the Gamma Knife treatment is decided upon, the preparation stage of the patient begins. At this stage, the nurse in charge of the Gamma Knife unit interviews the patient and carries out the necessary tests ; gives information on the points to consider before the procedure, things to do on the day of the procedure and things to take into account after the procedure.
After the necessary evaluation and preparations the patient arrives at the Gamma Knife unit after staying hungry from 12.00 midnight until 07.45 in the morning and prepares for the procedure. In the meanwhile their vascular access is established. If necessary some patients may receive mild sedation, and their heart beats, blood oxygen levels and blood pressure is monitored. Later, local anesthetic is applied to the patients head and the metal frame which we call the Leksel Gamma Knife frame is fixed onto the patients head. The purpose here is to determine the 3D position of the brain by the radiological images which are taken with the frame and to carry out the treatment plan through the determined coordinates. Afterwards, our patient is taken to the Radiology unit with the doctor, nurse and radiology physician and here Magnetic Resonance or Computer Tomography images are obtained according to the patients condition. These images are then uploaded to the computer where the Gamma Knife treatment plans were made. After the imaging, the patient is then taken back to their bed at the Gamma Knife unit.
If they wish, the patient may now eat and drink lightly. Meanwhile, the appropriate dose ray beams targeted at the lesion are planned with the treatment planning programmes we call the Gamma plan ; while this is carried out the visual nerve, brain stem and auditory related critical organs are placed under protection through various methods. Thanks to the high technology the Gamma Knife provides , a safe treatment is planned. The planning process takes approximately between 15 minutes to 1 hour and during this stage the patient waits in their bed and does not feel any pain due to the frame placed in their head.
After the planning, the patient is placed in the Gamma Knife device and their head is stabilized in the device with the help of the frame. Afterwards the irradiation process begins. The irradiation can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the size and shape of the lesion. A break is given during the irradiation process to allow the patient to rest. When the irradiation process is over, the patient is taken back to their bed and the frame is removed from their head.
Following a 1-2 hour bed rest, the patient is discharged after being given advice. Following the treatment, the patient is invited to our hospital at certain intervals for routine check ups and radiologic imaging for close monitoring. In the event of facing any problems our patients can directly contact the Gamma Knife supervisor nurse or their doctor.