Treatment Process

Treatment Process

Gamma Knife treatment has several steps, which mostly occur on the same day. We coordinate each step to ensure the very best experience for our patients. The steps include:

Step 1. Consultation
Step 2a. Planning
Step 2b. Treatment
Step 3. Follow Up

Step 1. Consultation

Time Requiremen

60-90 minutes

Participating Team Members

Patient, Radiation Oncologist, Neurosurgeon, Patient Services Coordinator, Scheduler, Financial Counselor

Consultation

You will learn about various treatment options that are available to you, including Gamma Knife.

Insurance verification and pre-authorization

Once you decide on Gamma Knife, our financial counselor will verify your insurance coverage and, if it’s required, will request pre-authorization. This usually takes 1-5 days, possibly up to 30 days.

This is a good time for you to contact your insurance company to ask how much of the bill your health insurance will cover, and how much will be your responsibility.

Learn more about insurance and billing for radiosurgery

Scheduling

Next we will schedule the planning and treatment appointment. This is also the time you should arrange with a friend or family member to drive you home after your treatment. Both planning and treatment will take place on the same day. Our scheduler will work closely with you to find a convenient time.


Step 2a. Planning

Time Requirement

2 ½ - 3 hours

Participating Team Members

Patient, Radiation Oncologist, Neurosurgeon, Medical Physicist, Nurse


Preparation

We will suggest you change into a hospital gown. The radiation oncology nurse will talk with you about your medical history and other treatments you have had, and will perform a clinical assessment.

The neurosurgeon will fit you with a light-weight, stabilizing head frame. The stabilizing frame ensures your head remains in the same position throughout the procedure.


Imaging

You will have a CT, MRI and/or angiogram for treatment planning. The images will help your doctor fully visualize the area to be treated and the nearby critical anatomy.


Creating the treatment plan

The neurosurgeon will use the images to identify the exact size, shape and location of the area to be treated.

The radiation oncologist, neurosurgeon and medical physicist will create a personalized treatment plan that will provide the desired radiation dose to the correct location while avoiding damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

While your treatment plan is being prepared, you will wait in a private room, covered by a warm blanket. We will continually monitor you to ensure you are comfortable.

Step 2b. Treatment

Time Requirement

One treatment (30-60 minutes)

Participating Team Members

Patient, Radiation Oncologist, Neurosurgeon, Medical Physicist, Nurse

 

Treatment

During your treatment you will lie on the treatment table, covered by a warm blanket and listening to music of your choice. You will breathe normally.

The table will slowly move so the top portion of your head is positioned within the Gamma Knife, which looks somewhat like a CT scanner. Multiple beams of radiation will be delivered at the same time according to your treatment plan.


After treatment

After your treatment, the doctor will remove the stabilizing frame and ensure all is well, and you will be able to leave.

Step 3. Follow Up

Time Requirement

One or more clinic appointments (30-60 minutes each)

Participating Team Members

Patient, Radiation Oncologist, Neurosurgeon, Nurse, Patient Services Coordinator, Scheduler

Follow-Up Appointments

Your neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist will determine the number of follow-up appointments you will have.

During the months following your treatment, your physician also may ask us to schedule CT, MRI or angiogram imaging to assess the tumor’s response to treatment.

Download and print a copy of our “Gamma Knife Step-by-Step Process” handout

Contact Information

Radiosurgery Center
550 17th Ave.
Suite A10
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-320-7130
Fax: 206-320-7137
Office Hours: Monday-Friday. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m

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Gamma Knife Process

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