Gamma Knife – Frequently Asked Questions

How does the treatment work?

During your treatment up to 192 tiny beams of radiation are focused on a single tumour or other targeted area.  The beams approach can be shaped to best conform to the target.  Treatment with Icon differs from conventional brain radiation therapy as it is programmed very precisely to deliver radiation at a finely focused point, where all of the beams converge to treat diseased tissue while sparing healthy surrounding tissue. 

The accuracy of the treatment is unsurpassed and leading centres around the world use it for its accuracy and documented outcomes.

Does the treatment hurt?

The radiation is invisible and painless. Some treatments use a head frame to hold your head still during the treatment and, when this is the case, there might be mild pain or discomfort from administering of a local anaesthetic or a pressure sensation when the frame is applied.

With a relaxing couch, silent machine and music, you may find yourself like many patients who drift asleep and wake up wondering when their treatment will begin!

What if I move during treatment?

Your head frame or mask is secured during treatment and special accessories support you to help you lie very still.  If you move beyond the strict parameters established, the system will instantly block the radiation.

Does the treatment leave me radioactive?

Definitely not – the treatment does not make you radioactive. The radiation delivered during the treatment does not remain in your body.

Am I alone during treatment?

While the radiation is being delivered, you are alone in the treatment room.  However, you can communicate with your radiographers at any time by intercom or hand signal, and this will all be explained to you beforehand. You will constantly be monitored by our expert clinicians. 

Will my head be shaved?

As there is no surgical incision, Gamma Knife treatment does not require your head to be shaved. All we ask is that your hair is clean and product-free.

Do I have to wear a hospital gown?

No – you can wear your usual clothes (something comfortable and inexpensive) but please don’t wear any item that has metal (studs, chains etc).  And remember to remove all jewellery – you can wear a wedding ring only.

Are there any side effects?

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is so precise that minimal damage occurs to the healthy tissues surrounding the treatment target.  There may actually be a lower risk of side effects than with other types of radiation therapy. If you have any questions, please ask your consultant, the Gamma Knife Manager or one of the radiographers who will be with you throughout your treatment.

Book now

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, contact us or call us on 0113 206 7503.

Leeds Gamma Knife Centre
Offering patients non invasive and pain free treatment

“My treatment was simply flawless”

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