Monday, 3 March 2008

Gamma Knife Surgery

I will start this as a 'stump' (wiki-style) and hope to expand it as I get more info. This was inspired by this post at the forum4e. Gamma Knife surgery is a non-invasive form of brain surgery using, as the name suggests, directed gamma rays. This is a possibility for those epileptics, such as myself, who have an obvious physical cause such as a lesion, calcification or tumor. There are not so many places in the world where this is available.

To quote the Cromwell Hospital website, "Gamma Knife Surgery is a procedure which can be used as an alternative to open surgery for the treatment of benign and malignant brain, head and neck tumours, vascular malformations and certain functional disorders including: trigeminal neuralgia; Parkinson's disease; psychoneurosis; and epilepsy. It uses highly precise radiation beams to destroy brain tumours and other abnormalities without the need to operate. It is also used for the treatment of facial pain, focal epilepsy and Parkinson's disease."

So here goes a list:

Cromwell Hospital Gamma Knife Centre, London, UK (homepage)

Bangkok Hospital Neurosurgical Gamma Center, Bangkok, Thailand (homepage)

Timone University Hospital, Marseille, France (French homepage)

The first hospital to use the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion system was la Timone in 2006. Cromwell Hospital uses the same machine. I am not currently aware if there are other gamma knife machines on the market. Any other hospitals you know of, please let me know through a comment. Just as importantly, how much did it cost (if private), and what was the result?

The other important consideration is whether this method is appropriate or not. I'll dig a little deeper here, but yet again, let me know of your own experiences. If it is appropriate then this could be an option you could ask your own neuro.

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