Gamma Knife Perfexion-How the Head Frame is Attached
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Gamma Knife Perfexion-How the Head Frame is Attached

November 8, 2019


Oftentimes patients are concerned about whether
or not the procedure will hurt or how long it will take and most importantly, the effectiveness
depending on what it is we are treating them for. We give some medicine to help both relax
the patient and prevent pain and then when we put the frame on we also put some numbing
medicine in the areas where the pinsites are. Nursing provides, in addition to emotional
comfort, we’re with the patient of course, from the beginning when we greet them and
then we’re also there during the headframe placement whether that’s just encouraging
them or helping them to relax, even holding a hand during the process.
The amount of discomfort a patient will experience is shortlived because once the frame is actually
on, it just feels tight around the head. Out of the four or five hours of the procedure
time for the Gamma Knife treatment, the most discomfort will be during the headframe treatment
which will be three to five minutes. Before the procedure starts, we give good medications
to ease the discomfort and to caml them down. This is the headframe here. You can see it’s
a rectangle. It has a post at each corner with a pin in each post. It’s very light.
It weighs less than two pounds. The Gamma Knife headframe is attached to the skull with
four pins. These do leave a small puncture mark in the skin. There’s no drilling of holes
in the skull and there’s no permanent damage of any kind to the skull once the headframe
is removed, it’s really as if there were four tiny pin prick areas in the skull that are
probably no bigger than the end of a pencil. I don’t have any cases, any recall of patients
that after that had any problems with the headframe and after so many cases, I know
that for sure. The next step is to measure the patient’s head. It’s because everyone’s
head size is just a little bit different. We do that with this device. Pit it on the
frame. Then we use a ruler to take measurements in each of these positions. Once he headframe
is on the patient, the patient is taken to MRI, where the MRI which will be used for
treatment planning is performed. The MRI clearly delineates the internal structures of the
brain that we need to see. Many times by then the patients are pretty relaxed and actually
ready to kind of rest during the planning process that’s occurring between the physicians
and that procress takes anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes when we are then ready to
begin the treatment. We bring the patient into the Gamma Knife treatment room and make
sure everyone is in agreement with the treatment about to be delivered. they actually don’t
feel anything when the Gamma Knife Treatment is delivered. In fact, there’s no noise, nothing
that touches them, they lay down on the table, they go in the machine for a while, they get
the treatment, a lot of times we play music as requested, most of the time at that point
the patient frequently will fall asleep during the treatment, they’re relaxed and that’ the
easist part, they lay on the table for half an hour to an hour and a half and they come
out and they’re done. And when the headframe is removed they just get a bandaid. There’s
no stitches required. It’s just a small mark that heals quickly on the patient’s skin.
After treatment what we hear most is the patient is very grateful for the treatment that they’ve
received, the care that they’ve received and especially if we held their hand during the
headframe placement but they glad that its over with and done and that everything went
smoothly for them. They immediately, all of them, realize the tremendous advantage they
have with that procedure against the other procedure so they are totally grateful of
it.

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