Gamma Knife is among the most widely used radiosurgery techniques. Gamma Knife allows removing brain tumors without aactual surgery but using the radiation impact. High doses of radiation lead to the tumor’s death. Thanks to the precise guidance of radiation beams, healthy tissues are practically not damaged.
Benefits of using Gamma Knife
Radiosurgery is the best way to treat brain tumors. Unfortunately, this can be not always possible. Tumor can be located deep in the brain tissues. Such location makes it extremely difficult to perform necessary surgical manipulations keeping functionally active brain parts safe. Unlike open surgery, Gamma Knife doesn’t require craniotomy. The radiation impact is performed without blood.
Main benefits are:
- Post-operative recovery not needed
- It’s painless
- There is no risk of damage to the functionally active areas of the brain
- Good tolerability to the procedure
- Ability to treat tumors with deep location
- Precise guidance and minimum radiation dose for healthy tissues
This method is used to treat both cancerous and benign neoplasms. Benign formations don’t give metastases, though they do squeeze brain tissues and produce hormones (pituitary adenoma). However, Gamma Knife’s abilities are still restricted. Only small tumors can be removed with its help. Malformations more than 3 cm in size require application of other radiosurgery techniques as Cyber-knife.
Steps of the treatment procedure
Patient doesn’t feel any pain. Some patients experience a feeling of compression in the head, which doesn’t bring any expressed discomfort and quickly goes away. Steps of the Gamma Knife treatment procedure:
- A stereotactic frame is fixed on the patient's head
- Diagnostic tests are performed (usually CT or MRI, sometimes PET)
- An irradiation plan is developed on the basis of the data obtained. It takes into account the location of the tumor, proximity of the functionally active brain parts, shape of the tumor, number of neoplasms, position of the head in space, and total dose of radiation
- Patient is placed on the table
- Table moves into the apparatus where the tumor is irradiated
The frame is removed from the patient's head after the radiation procedure. The places of its attachment are treated with an antiseptic. Then patient can go home. Patients usually feel well after the procedure.
German hospitals where to undergo Gamma Knife treatment
There are several clinics and medical centers in Germany where foreign patients can undergo treatment for a brain tumor with Gamma Knife unit. Among such clinics are:
- Hannover Gamma Knife Center. Experts in the field of neurosurgery and radiation therapy work here. They will remove the brain tumor up to 3 cm in size in one session. Meningiomas, neurinomas, gliomas, pituitary tumors, and cancer metastases to the brain can be treated in Hannover Gamma Knife Center.
- Krefeld Gamma Knife Center has the latest equipment in the world for radiosurgery procedures. Perfection Gamma Knife unit is used. It has high accuracy of direction. It has 192 radiation sources, which allows you to accurately focus the rays, depending on the shape of the tumor.
- Aachen University Hospital. There is a Gamma Knife center founded in 1998. The effectiveness of treatment reaches 90%. Here, most patients after treatment of a tumor with a gamma knife have the same life expectancy as after a surgical operation with trepanation of the skull.
Cost of treatment
- Intracranial Germinoma starting from 11,063 €
- Acoustic Neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) starting from 11,722 €
- Benign Tumor of Brain starting from 10,935 €
- Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) starting from 10,969 €
Arrangement of treatment in Germany
Any patient can undergo Gamma Knife treatment, if necessary. To do it patient needs to:
- Find a hospital
- Agree on the details with the hospital administration
- Receive an invitation from its head physician
- Issue all the documents to travel abroad
- Translate medical paperwork into German
- Travel to Germany
- Find a hotel next to the hospital for the accompanying personstay
- Get to the hospital or a hotel from the airport
- Find an interpreter in Germany for the communication with the hospital personnel and its administration
- Issue a foreign healthcare insurance
All of this can be taken care by BookingHealth company. We are experts in the medical tourism. You are going to receive thorough treatment in Germany with our help and not worrying about anything except your own health.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova