What to Expect during Gamma Knife Surgery
This is what you can you expect before, during and after your Gamma Knife® treatment at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland.
Scheduling Your Treatment
Once you and your neurosurgeon have decided on Gamma Knife surgery, we will strive to make your treatment as smooth and comfortable as possible. Our staff will take care of arrangements such as insurance issues and lodging for you and your family. Our Gamma Knife Coordinator is a registered nurse available to help you with any questions or concerns. He may be reached toll free at 1-866-MI-GAMMA or by e-mail.
Arriving in Midland
Patients arriving from out of town may take advantage of our Hospitality Service, which provides overnight lodging. You’ll find Midland is conveniently located and easy to get around. Ample free parking is available. Visit our maps page for complete directions, or learn more about air transportation options.
Prior to Your Treatment
Before your treatment, you will be scheduled for a consultation with a neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist, who will take your history and conduct a physical examination. For out-of-town patients, this generally occurs the day before the Gamma Knife surgery. During your consultation visit, you will be given a tour of the Gamma Knife facility.
The Day of Your Treatment
When you arrive at the Medical Center, you will be given a medication to relax you. A metal frame will be placed on your head, attached by four pins. A topical and local anesthetic will numb the four pin sites.
Next, you will be taken in a wheelchair for an MRI or a CT scan. The physician will use this information to plan your treatment. Treatment planning may take one to two hours, depending on your case.
During this time, the frame will remain attached to your head, but you will not feel discomfort. You will be able to spend the time with your family in a private waiting room.
Next, you will be taken to the Gamma Knife treatment room, where you will lie on the couch of the Gamma Knife and the frame will be attached to a positioning device. When you are comfortable, the staff will leave the room but continue to monitor you by camera.
You will be able to speak to the staff through an intercom. The couch will slide into a shielded dome and the gamma radiation will be administered. You will not feel anything different during the treatment, which typically lasts 40 to 60 minutes.
Immediately following your treatment, the frame will be removed from your head and the pin sites will be cleaned and covered with small adhesive bandages. You will be monitored for about one hour, then sent home with discharge instructions. You should plan to have someone drive you home. Rarely patients may require an overnight stay for additional observation.
Following Your Treatment
Most patients are able to resume normal activities within 24 hours following treatment. You will have a follow-up visit with either your hometown physician or with one or more of your MidMichigan physicians at some interval after your treatment to see how you are doing.
If you have questions about your treatment, travel arrangements or other issues, don’t hesitate to contact our Gamma Knife Coordinator.
Gamma Knife® is a registered trademark of Elekta Group.