Gamma knife surgery is a radiosurgery with the longest track record for radio-surgical treatment. It is doubtlessly the best technology from a medical perspective. As a radio-surgical tool, gamma knife therapy has the best as well as widespread name recognition. Gamma knife treatment planning times are justly short; therefore, more than one Australian patient can be treated in a single day. The procedure involved has less moving parts than other systems used in radiosurgery. Therefore, maintenance is less and down-time is also minimal.
More Australian patients annually can theoretically be treated, which is a great achievement. Gamma knife surgery has been established as a safe and effective treatment of tumours. The procedure provides patients with a greater chance of long term pain relief and a lower risk of nerve disturbance.
The precision of gamma knife procedure enables a high treatment plan of radiation to be converged on a precise target area. This therefore means that a single treatment plan is generally enough for one Australian patient. The key benefits of gamma knife surgery are that it is non-invasive. Other key benefits include the following. It is unlikely for the patient to experience nausea or hair loss.
Gamma knife does not involve incision; therefore, an Australian patient is not required to shave his or her. This procedure avoids as much as possible risks related to open surgery, including bleeding and infection. Unlike conventional brain surgery, which takes up to six weeks for the patient to recover; with gamma knife surgery the patient takes approximately forty eight hours.
Gamma knife surgery presents minimum complications. Ideally, indirect comparisons suggest that the procedure produces fewer complications than other treatment options.
The procedure; however, has several limitations. To begin with, initial costs for gamma knife system are higher than other systems. Due to radiation decay half-life of 5.25 years, treatment plan doubles by five years. Therefore, the cobalt sources must be replaced every five years, at considerable expense. An upgrade radiation vault is also required and it is obtained at a considerably high price.
Another key drawback of gamma knife procedure is that it can only be used for intracranial applications. Because break-even volume is projected at about eighty six patients per annum, small volume centres in Australia may experience difficulty recouping their investment. The procedure also requires rigid head immobilization.
A good number of meningioma disorders are found at the base of the human skull adjacent to many motor as well as sensory nerves.
The precise side effects are reliant on the location of the meningioma in the skull. Possible exposure to radiation carries the risk of a malignant tumour developing in the future. Nevertheless, the risk is significantly lower than for a serious impediment arising following conventional surgery. Australian doctors handling gamma knife surgery are known to inform in advance their patients of the potential risk factors along with involved side effects. A doctor will rule whether or not a specific brain tumour is treatable with gamma knife if the involved risk factors are minimal.
1) What is Gamma Knife Surgery (GKS)?: http://www.muh.org.au/servicesspecialties/gammaknife/forpatients/faqs.aspx
2) Gamma Knife Surgery Advantages: http://www.muh.org.au/ServicesSpecialties/GammaKnife/ForDoctors/Advantages.aspx