Developed in the 1968 by Lars Leksell, a Swedish neurosurgeon, the Gamma Knife is the most extensively researched and published radiosurgery device with more than a million cases treated till date. It has stood the test of time and established itself as a precise and reliable treatment modality for lesions in critical and sensitive locations inside the cranial cavity.
Sharper than knife, but it’s not a knife
During treatment, 192 beams of radiations are precisely directed to the brain lesion. Damaging the cancer cells and sparring the surrounding tissues. The result is remarkable, where the tumor gradually stops growing and in many instances, disappears over time. So far, Sunway is the only medical centre in Southeast Asia which can perform frameless gamma knife radiosurgery. This means the patients do not need to wear head frame with four screws to hold the frame in place during the treatment, which could be uncomfortable for them.
Common conditions where Gamma Knife treatment would be considered are:
- Malignant tumors: damaging cancer cells and preventing them from multiplying while. Causing the tumor to shrink and eventually die.
- Benign tumors (meningioma, acoustic neuromas, and pituitary tumors): attacking the tumor’s cells, causing the tumor to shrink over time.
- Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs): destroying the abnormal tangles of arteries and veins. Causing the blood vessels to close off over time.
- Trigeminal neuralgia: killing the nerves so they can no longer send false pain signals.
The Gamma Knife Experience – treatment steps:
- Consultation with neurosurgeon or a clinic oncologist.
- Defining the target – patient will have a CT and MRI for treatment planning. The images will help the doctor to define the area to be treated.
- Stabilization – a thermoplastic mask is placed over the face or a head frame is attached to the head. This prevents movement during treatment and allows doctor to locate the treat target.
- Treatment planning – once CT/MRI images pinpoint the exact location to be treated, the Gamma Knife team develops a customized treatment plan using a highly specialized planning system. Every treatment plan is uniquely created.
- Gamma Knife Icon Treatment – during treatment, the patients will lie on the treatment table. Covered by a warm blanket, patients often listen to music or fall asleep while having treatment. Treatment can last for a few minutes or more than an hour. It depends on the number of targets, as well as the size and shape of each target.
- Post Treatment – the thermoplastic or head frame is removed. Typically patients are allowed to go home on the same day. Or, sometimes are advised to stay overnight. The patient will be monitored from time to time by the physician to check on the recovery progress.
In a nutshell, Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™is a gold standard treatment for brain tumor and functional disorders. For more information about treatment with the Gamma Knife Icon, contact Sunway Medical Clinic at +62811 8 1614 86
Sunway Medical Centre
5, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia