When you arrive at Leeds Gamma Knife Centre in Nova Healthcare, you will be greeted by the Gamma Knife Manager or the team of radiographers who will be caring for you throughout your treatment.
Your mask will be made in the Gamma Knife treatment room. During the mask making you will be lying on your back; a soft beanbag headrest will be placed underneath your head. You’ll need to lie on the headrest for 8 minutes to allow it to set and mould to your individual head shape.
Once the headrest is set, a softened mask will be moulded to your face. The mask will feel warm and damp and takes approximately 10 minutes to set. The radiographers may also perform a special type of CT scan on the Gamma Knife whilst the mask sets. A radiographer will place a sticker on to the tip of your nose – this will be used to monitor your movement throughout your treatment to help ensure you stay still.
Prior to any treatment delivery you will need a planning scan. This is most likely to be an MRI. You may be asked to wear your mask for this scan. At each session your mask will be fitted by the radiographers to check it is keeping you in the required position for treatment. They will place a sticker on to the tip of your nose which will monitor any movement. Each day a special type of CT scan will be performed by the Gamma Knife prior to the delivery of treatment.
The Gamma Knife treatment is completely noise and pain free. You will be able to listen to music if you wish – we have a large music library for you to choose from or you can bring your own. During the treatment, the frame is securely attached to the treatment bed. The bed will glide gently into the Gamma Knife machine. The radiographers will be overseeing your treatment and you will be given a buzzer to press if you need to communicate with the team. When your treatment is complete the radiographers will re-enter the room and remove your mask.
Your consultant will arrange a follow-up scan and clinic appointment.