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Gamma Knife Surgery For Malignant Glioma
What you should know
Gamma knife surgery for malignant glioma uses radiation to remove a tumor in the brain.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
You may need open brain surgery if problems occur during gamma knife surgery. Your brain, eyes, bones, blood vessels, or nerves may get damaged during surgery. Radiation may cause nausea, vomiting, skin or blood problems, or seizures. Surgery may not completely remove your tumor, or your tumor may come back. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.
The week before your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need blood tests before surgery. You may also need a CT scan, MRI, chest x-ray, and an ECG. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The night before your surgery:
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
- You may be given medicine to help you sleep.
The day of your surgery:
- Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
Your healthcare provider will inject local anesthesia in the areas of your head where the head frame will be placed. The head frame will be attached to a helmet placed over your head. A computer will show pictures of your brain to your healthcare provider. When your surgery starts, the bed you are lying on will be moved inside the treatment hood. Your healthcare provider will use the computer to aim beams of radiation into the holes of the helmet. These beams will pass through your skull and brain until they reach your tumor. After treatment, your bed will be moved out of the hood. The head frame and helmet will be removed.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your surgery.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You have a sudden, severe headache.
- You have trouble seeing, breathing, speaking, or thinking clearly.
- You passed out or had a seizure.
- Your face is getting numb or you cannot move your arms or legs.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.