What is a Gamma Knife Icon?
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is non-surgical radiation therapy for treating the functional abnormalities and relatively small brain tumors. It can produce accurately-targeted radiation through fewer high-dose sessions compared to traditional therapy, and this basically helps preserve healthy tissue. The Gamma Knife which is one of the basic kinds of equipment of SRS treatment uses 192 or 201 beams of highly focused gamma rays all pointing at the target region. The Gamma Knife is very effective for treating small to medium size lesions within the skull.
Gamma Knife Icon is the newest form available of Gamma Knife allowing for a very precise brain surgery without opening one’s skull. Elekta Gamma Knife Icon promises even better results than previous types of gamma knife treatment and has become a favorite tool for many doctors across the globe.
However, quite understandably, not everybody is so excited about radiosurgery in general. Especially patients who do not follow the latest developments in medicine may have a hard time believing that a gamma knife treatment may be as effective and even safer than traditional brain surgery.
In this article, we are trying to make radiosurgery, and Elekta Gamma Knife Icon in particular, more familiar to those of patients who may need it and who also have doubts regarding this revolutionary procedure.
Why Gamma Knife Icon?
Elekta Gamma Knife Icon, unlike traditional brain surgery, allows for brain treatment without performing a single cut in one’s brain. It is radiosurgery – beams are directed from many sources at a specific point in one’s brain. Therefore, there is no need to cut through other brain tissues, and as a result, the possibility of brain surgery side effects is kept at a very low level.
Gamma Knife Icon, a new generation type of Gamma Knife, provides either with or without-frame-based patient fixation for high accuracy. In Gamma Knife, a head frame is used which is rigidly attached to the patient’s skull to establish a stereotactic coordinate system and for precisely positioning the patient. However, with the frameless patient fixation of Gamma Knife Icon, a system called High Definition Motion Management (HDMM) instantly monitors the patients’ motion and controls the beams delivery with a user-defined tolerance of acceptable motion.
The other advantage of radiosurgery over other types of brain surgery is the time of recovery. In traditional brain surgery, recovery time may be as long as weeks or even months for the skull and brain tissues affected heal slowly. In gamma knife treatment, patients are free to go home the same day or after one-night observation.
What Is It Used for? (Which Medical Conditions)
Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery finds use in many types of brain cancers such as meningiomas, vestibular schwannomas, and pituitary adenomas as well as metastatic cancers. Moreover, Elekta Gamma Knife Icon was successfully used to treat brain cancer growing anew after a traditional brain surgery due to its precision and being almost non-invasive.
Finally, gamma knife surgery may be used to treat some neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and trigeminal neuralgia and vascular diseases including arteriovenous malformation.
Gamma Knife Icon delivers an extended treatment area includes the face and upper neck, and the ability to provide staged treatments where only a portion of the total target is treated each time.
Although the treated conditions are several, it will be particularly very beneficial for patients with brain metastases who are being treated with radiosurgery instead of whole brain radiation.
How Is It Performed?
In Elekta Gamma Knife Icon, dozens of gamma beams are used to hit precisely at the point which requires a brain surgery without causing any damage to surrounding brain tissues. This is why radiotherapy utilizes a large number of beams – one beam passing through brain tissues does not cause any effects. Only the point where they are focused – a brain cancer tissue or ailing blood vessel – the radiotherapy beams destroy the cells. The Gamma Knife Icon has an image guidance system for monitoring and correcting patients’ motion by using frameless thermoplastic mask immobilization. The system consists of a cone-beam CT (CBCT) and a couch-mounted infrared camera (IFMM).
What Are the Side Effects of Gamma Knife Icon?
While Elekta Gamma Knife Icon is generally a safe procedure, it may rarely cause some side effects. They may include nausea and headaches, mild skin reactions, feeling of numbness or even epileptic seizures. Additionally, it may sometimes lead to a temporary head loss near the area treated by gamma beams. Finally, in very rare cases, it may lead to changes in neurological functions. Some patients have no side effects at all. However, the occurred side effects are typically related to the specific areas that are being treated.
As in all radiation therapy procedures, correct selection and calculation of the amount of radiation to deliver are crucial in order to eliminate any user or machine related problems.
What Is the Difference from a Normal Gamma Knife?
Elekta Gamma Knife Icon is the newest generation of radiotherapy, developed from a normal gamma knife treatment. The difference is evolutionary rather than revolutionary – Elekta Gamma Knife Icon offers even greater precision and more developed safety procedures than its predecessor.
Moreover, Elekta Gamma Knife surgery allows for simultaneous brain surgery in various locations of the brain, which may be useful especially if a brain cancer has spread and is not growing in a single location. Other important differences between Gamma Knife Perfexion and Gamma Knife Icon are:
• In Gamma Knife Icon, treatments may be given in single or multiple sessions.
• An external frame is not required in Gamma Knife Icon treatment.
• Icon uses a combination of stereotactic Cone Beam CT imaging and real-time motion detection to reach 0.15 mm treatment accuracy.
How Can I Choose A Good Clinic for This Treatment?
Gamma Knife Icon is the sixth generation of the company's Leksell Gamma Knife system, has been used worldwide and continually evolving since the 1980s. Besides the Gamma Knife is the most commonly used radiosurgery platform for the brain in the United States, patients in all over the world are increasingly overcoming the prejudice about the newest approaches delivered thanks to pioneer healthcare facilities, well-trained professionals and gradually affordable prices.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.