FAQs

FAQ's

Nerves

  • ?What is Gamma Knife radiosurgery

    The Gamma Knife is not a knife, but rather a sophisticated system that can be used to replace brain surgery or whole brain radiation in some situations. It uses a single, high dose of gamma radiation delivered via up to 192 individual beams that intersect at a single spot with an accuracy of less than one-tenth of a millimeter (about the thickness of a sheet of paper).

    A Gamma Knife procedure treats brain lesions with enough radiation to control them so that they disappear, shrink, or stop growing. It can be used to treat targets even in the most critical, difficult-to-access areas of the brain without delivering significant radiation doses to healthy normal brain tissue. Referred to as "surgery without a scalpel," the Gamma Knife procedure does not require the surgeon to make an incision in the scalp or an opening in the skull.

    The Gamma Knife is more precise and delivers less dose to normal tissue than other radiosurgical tools that are currently available.

  • ?What is Trigeminal neuralgia
    Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition characterized by pain coming from the trigeminal nerve that starts near the top of the ear and splits in three, toward the eye, cheek, and jaw. There are two trigeminal nerves for both sides of the face, but trigeminal neuralgia pain most commonly affects only one side. The pain is often described as stabbing, lancinating or electrical in sensation causing the affected person to have difficulty eating or drinking. The pain travels through the face in a matter of seconds and the pain can last minutes and even longer.
  • ?What is Stenosis
    The lumbar spine (lower back) consists of five vertebrae in the lower part of the spine, between the ribs and the pelvis. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, compressing the nerves traveling through the lower back into the legs. While it may affect younger patients, due to developmental causes, it is more often a degenerative condition that affects people who are typically age 60 and older. Narrowing of the spinal canal usually occurs slowly, over many years or decades. The disks become less spongy with aging, resulting in loss of disk height, and may cause bulging of the hardened disk into the spinal canal. Bone spurs may also occur and ligaments may thicken. All of these can contribute to the narrowing of the central canal and may or may not produce symptoms. Symptoms may be due to inflammation, compression of the nerve(s), or both.
  • ?What is Thoracic spine
    The thoracic spine is built for stability and helps keep the body upright. It connects the cervical spine, which is located in the neck, and the lumbar spine, which is located in the lower back.
  • Gamma Knife

  • ?What is Gamma Knife radiosurgery

    The Gamma Knife is not a knife, but rather a sophisticated system that can be used to replace brain surgery or whole brain radiation in some situations. It uses a single, high dose of gamma radiation delivered via up to 192 individual beams that intersect at a single spot with an accuracy of less than one-tenth of a millimeter (about the thickness of a sheet of paper).

    A Gamma Knife procedure treats brain lesions with enough radiation to control them so that they disappear, shrink, or stop growing. It can be used to treat targets even in the most critical, difficult-to-access areas of the brain without delivering significant radiation doses to healthy normal brain tissue. Referred to as "surgery without a scalpel," the Gamma Knife procedure does not require the surgeon to make an incision in the scalp or an opening in the skull.

    The Gamma Knife is more precise and delivers less dose to normal tissue than other radiosurgical tools that are currently available.

  • ?What is involved in a typical Gamma Knife Treatment
    On the day of treatment, the patient is given light sedation. Next, local anesthesia is used to secure a head frame to the patient's head. The frame is used with an imaging process to find the target with great accuracy. Once the frame is in place, the patient gets an MRI or CT scan, or angiography if they have an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), to find the lesion in the brain that needs to be treated. Using the imaging procedure, the treating team can define the position of the lesion(s) inside the patient's head. While the patient is resting, the treatment team, which usually includes a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and physicist, uses a computer to come up with a plan for treatment. This takes between 30 and 90 minutes to complete, depending on the shape and location of the targets. When the individual treatment plan is done, the patient lies down on the Gamma Knife couch so that their head is in the right place for treatment. The patient moves automatically into the machine, and treatment begins. Treatment typically lasts from 20 minutes to 2 hours, during which time the patient feels nothing. After the treatment, the patient is automatically moved out of the machine, and the head frame is removed. At this point, the patient usually goes home, but sometimes they have to stay in the hospital overnight to be watched.
  • ?How many sessions is Gamma Knife radiosurgery
    Gamma Knife is typically completed in a single-day with patients arriving in the morning and able to return home later in the day. Occasionally, physicians may choose to deliver the treatment over a few days.
  • ?Does Gamma Knife work
    The Gamma Knife is not an experimental form of treatment. It is a highly effective method of treating brain tumors and neurological and functional disorders and its use is supported by two decades of clinical research published in the mainstream medical literature. The Gamma Knife is not an experimental form of treatment. Developed in 1968, it has been used in the treatment of over 1 million patients. There are over 2,500 peer reviewed publications describing the use of the Gamma Knife in an array of clinical conditions including brain tumors, vascular malformations, movement disorders and facial pain. The results reported by Gamma Knife centers are typically as good as achievable with other techniques, with lower complication rates.
  • ?What studies have been done or are being done to show its effectiveness
    The number of peer-reviewed, published scientific articles documenting patient outcomes with Gamma Knife far outweighs any other form of stereotactic radiosurgery. Gamma Knife centers and universities have published more than 2,500 papers and have treated more than 1 million patients worldwide during the last 50 years. The fact that 75% of all published radiosurgical literature including most of the multicenter trials is based on the use of the Gamma Knife is especially significant given that both Gamma Knife and Linac systems were introduced in the same era.
  • ?What does the patient feel during the Gamma Knife treatment
    There might be mild pain from administration of the local anesthetic used during placement of the head frame (similar to the sensation of having blood drawn). Patients have reported that they feel a pressure sensation when the frame is applied, but not pain.
  • ?What can a patient expect after Gamma Knife treatment
    After the treatment session is finished, the head frame is removed. Sometimes there is a little bleeding from where the pins contact the patient’s head. Pressure is applied to stop the bleeding and Bandaids may be used to keep the pin sites clean. It is usually recommended that the patient refrain from physical activity over the next 18 to 24 hours.
  • ?How quickly will the Gamma Knife treatment work
    The effects of Gamma Knife radiosurgery occur over a period of time that can range from several weeks to several years, depending on the condition being treated.
  • ?Can Gamma Knife treatment be given more than once
    Yes.
  • Tumor

  • ?What is Stereotactic radiosurgery
    The specialized equipment focuses many small beams of radiation on a tumor or other target. Each beam has very little effect on the tissue it passes through, but a targeted dose of radiation is delivered to the site where all the beams intersect. The high dose of radiation delivered to the affected area causes tumors to shrink and blood vessels to close off over time following treatment, robbing the tumor of its blood supply. The precision of stereotactic radiosurgery means there's minimal damage to the healthy surrounding tissues. In most cases, radiosurgery has a lower risk of side effects compared with other types of traditional surgery or radiation therapy.
  • ?What is craniopharyngioma
    A rare, benign brain tumor that usually forms near the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Craniopharyngiomas are slow-growing and do not spread to other parts of the brain or other parts of the body. However, they may grow and press on nearby parts of the brain, including the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, optic chiasm, optic nerves, and fluid-filled spaces in the brain. This may cause problems with growth, vision, and making certain hormones. Craniopharyngiomas usually occur in children and young adults.
  • ?what is a pineal gland tumor
    Pineal region tumors are primary central nervous system tumors. These tumors begin in the brain but can spread to the spinal cord. Primary CNS tumors are graded based on the tumor location, tumor type, extent of tumor spread, genetic findings, the patient’s age, and tumor remaining after surgery if surgery is possible. Cancer is a genetic disease – that is, cancer is caused by certain changes to genes that control the way our cells function. Genes may be mutated in many types of cancer, which can increase the growth and spread of cancer cells. The cause of most pineal region tumors is not known. Pineoblastomas can occur in people with the inherited genetic disorder bilateral retinoblastoma. Pineal region tumors form in the pineal region of the brain. This region is located deep in the middle of the brain. Pineal region tumors arise from stem cells near the pineal gland.
  • Brain Tumor
    A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Many different types of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous, and some brain tumors are cancerous. Brain tumors can begin in your brain, or cancer can begin in other parts of your body and spread to your brain as secondary brain tumors. How quickly a brain tumor grows can vary greatly. The growth rate, as well as the location of a brain tumor, determines how it will affect the function of your nervous system.
  • Parkinson

  • ?What is Parkinson disease
    Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
  • Disease

  • ?What is Parkinson disease
    Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
  • Treatments

  • ?How many sessions is Gamma Knife radiosurgery
    Gamma Knife is typically completed in a single-day with patients arriving in the morning and able to return home later in the day. Occasionally, physicians may choose to deliver the treatment over a few days.