Gamma Knife surgery in India
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a painless, bloodless technique to treat brain disorders without patient actually undergoing the surgery. The procedure involves treating the disease with single high dose of gamma radiation to eradicate it without the traditional way of opening the skull. The procedure has thus no risks of surgical complications like infection, hemorrhage or leakage of cerebral spinal fluid. The technique involves hundreds of gamma radiations precisely focusing on a single target- the diseased tissue leaving the surrounding healthy tissue unharmed.
The procedure is done under local anesthesia with sedation. The actual treatment time may range from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and location of the lesion, though the preparation takes several hours. Over 500,000 patients have chosen gamma knife over brain surgery and have been happy with the results.
Whether or not you are a candidate for gamma knife can only be decided by the neurosurgeon after evaluating your medical condition. He shall discuss the options with you and your family so that you can make an informed decision.
Better is a very relative word. Not everyone is a candidate for gamma knife surgery. The neurosurgeon shall examine you and your reports to suggest how effective would gamma knife surgery for you. It cannot replace traditional open brain surgery in all cases, but offers several advantages over open surgery when a patient is a candidate for gamma knife. The advantages include:
- Only one session is required- no down time for recuperation and thus early return to activities
- Blood less and virtually painless procedure
- Much more accurate than other radiosurgeries as designed specifically for brain treatment
- No chances of complications like in open brain surgery
- Gamma Knife is the only method approved by the FDA for treatment of brain metastases
- Can be used in combination with conventional surgery and as therapeutic radiation boost
- High patient acceptance and effectiveness with essentially no mortality after treatment of over 500,000 patients worldwide
- Can be used when prior surgery or radiation therapy has failed to control the disease
Over 500,000 patients worldwide have successfully undergone gamma knife treatment. Results have proven to be superior or comparable to conventional neurosurgery, depending on the specific condition treated.
Benign tumors like acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, pineal tumors; malignant tumors like metastatic tumors, astrocytomas and glioblastomas are treated by Gamma knife. It is also used to eradicate arteriovenous malformations (AVM) quite successfully.
Yes, patients who have previously undergone open brain surgery or even radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or embolization procedure in cases of AVM are eligible for gamma knife.
Gamma Knife is much safer as compared to open surgery because there are no risks associated with open surgery are involved. Since the procedure is done with mild sedative, the risks related with anesthesia are also ruled out.
Complications are quite rare as compared to the open brain surgery. Since there is no exposure to any brain tissue is involved, there are minimum chances of any complications. Since the procedure is done under sedation and not under general anesthesia, there are nil chances of any anesthesia related complications. The most commonly reported complications are local pain or swelling at the site of the pin placement and/or headache that is resolved with pain medication.
The patient is given local anesthesia with mild oral sedation and a frame, very light in weight, is tightened to the patient's head. A CT or MRI is done with the frame in place, to pin point the site of the lesion most precisely. In case the patient is suffering from AVM atreio venous malformation an angiography is also done. The use of the frame is to completely immobilize the patient.
The CT and MRI images are moved to the computer for treatment planning which is done by very complex software. The patient is then placed on the couch with the head first and the treatment begins. It takes from 30min to an hour for the actual treatment depending on the complexity of the case.
No hospitalization is generally required and the patients are sent home the same day. Most people even resume their normal activities from the next day itself.
Most patients return to routine activities the next day after the procedure itself.
The majority of brain tumors selected for treatment will disappear or stop growing over time. After one year 40% of arteriovenous malformations are cured increasing to 80% two years after treatment.
The effects of the treatment can be seen gradually. The complete effect can take somewhere from few days to upto few years. The final result of the treatment depends upon the medical condition treated. Many lesions gradually dissolve and ultimately disappear over a period of time, while many lesions just stop growing further.
Gamma Knife surgery cost in India
Gamma knife surgery cost in India is much affordable and starts from around USD 7000 and varies depending upon your medical condition, surgeon, facility and the city where you choose to get gamma knife treatment in India done.
There is absolutely no compromise in the quality. Gamma knife surgery cost in India and for that matter, medical treatment in India is much less because of the following reasons:
Low cost of endowment in India - Qualified doctors, surgeons, nursing staff, lower investments costs, subsidies by government to private healthcare sector are more as compared to other countries
An exchange rate regime, which is favourable to India (indicative rates only, may not be currently applicable)
1 USD= 60 Indian rupees
1 GBP= 80 Indian rupees
1 Euro= 66 Indian rupees
Gamma Knife Centres India
IndiCure associates only with hospitals in India who practice international protocols and offer international standards of care. Many of our associate hospitals in India are JCI accredited, which means the quality of care and services are at par with US standards.
An overnight stay at the hospital is required- usually a night prior to the surgery for the preparation. The total stay required in India is about 5-7 days.