Author Topic: Head frame in Gamma Knife Treatment  (Read 5638 times)


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Head frame in Gamma Knife Treatment
« on: August 27, 2013, 12:00:09 pm »
I am newly diagnosed with a small tumor and currently exploring options. Curious to hear input on anyone's experience about being fitted with the GK head frame and continued endurance through the procedure. Thanks


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Re: Head frame in Gamma Knife Treatment
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 03:45:51 pm »
The head frame wasn't that bad.  They make you sleepy sitting up...and wake up with a head frame.  Mine was pinned to my skull, but I believe the newer machines use a mouthpiece connected to the frame.

But even if its the older frame, it really wasn't a big deal, can't even tell I had one except for two divits in my skull on the back of my head, but it's covered by hair.
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!


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Re: Head frame in Gamma Knife Treatment
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 08:44:54 pm »
The whole GK procedure usually starts around 6 AM,  and is usually done by noon.  Of that time the head frame is on a total of about 2 hours.  They numb the pin sights with novacane and you really can't feel much when they put it on.  Just a little pressure.  Although this seems to be a big concern for people considering GK, Those who have had the procedure don't think it was much of a deal at all.   I know it wasn't for me.  The pin sights are a little sore for about a week.  Ice and advil will easily take care of that.


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Re: Head frame in Gamma Knife Treatment
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 02:13:13 am »
Please let me put ypur mind at rest. I too was nervous about the headframe before treatment. (of course they use something similar in surgery, just youre not awake to see it). Gk and linac, which I had, use the head frame screwed in and CK and FRS use a moulded frame as its more than one treatment, often with a mouthpiece.

It's really not that bad. Here's my experience:

I had the headframe fitted at 8am and had treatment around 5pm so on a long time. This was because I had to wait for everyone else to have their treatments before the linac machine was adapted for the last treatment of the day, ie for the head. By this time it was getting a bit sore as the injections to numb the pin sites had worn off a bit by then. They fitted it so early as the neurosurgeon who oversaw the fitting was only around at 8am.

The injections are no worse than those for dental treatment, in fact less painful as not in the mouth, they sting a bit as the lignocain goes in and sound oddly crunchy. There are 4 injections. the screwing in of the pins sounds odd, but it only feels a little tight, not painful. Then you wait around for the other measurements which involves a bubble helmet with rods to get exact measurements and the CT scan.

The actual zapping is fairly quick then the headframe is removed. This is the most painful bit. It feels like long poles are being pulled from your head, which is odd as the screws are fairly small. But its over before you know it. They then put small plasters on the pin sites. Mine bled a lot and did so for a few days afterwards. But they healed up pretty quick after that and can't see them after a couple of months.

So the headframe is bearable and I've had worse procedures! It's the after effects of the radisurgery that are the real pain, ie worsening imbalance dizziness tinnitus and hearing loss (I'm 8 months post treatment).  I'd still go for SRS rather than surgery though if I have a choice!

Hope that helps,


CPA and IAC AN 14.5mm x 10mm x 8mm diagnosed August 2012 treatment in UK SRS Linac with headframe  Dec 2012 MRI 4 month post April 2013 was 18mm x 13 x 7.8 (this April MRI was not measured until Jan 2014) MRI January 2014 was 17mm x 11.4 x 8.3 (one year post)


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Re: Head frame in Gamma Knife Treatment
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 07:49:38 am »
Hi TwoOceans and welcome!

Thrilled to see you here and that the info you were looking when we spoke is here for you.

As you can see, others are definitely sharing wonderful experiences. Hoping your continued participation here will bring you the answers you seek.

Again, welcome!
"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness", Capt Jack Sparrow - Davy Jones Locker, "Pirates of the Carribbean - At World's End"


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Re: Head frame in Gamma Knife Treatment
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 12:34:46 pm »
I also had GK with the head frame.

Same story as everybody else with positive comments.

No big deal.
3/15/18 12mm x 6mm x5mm
9/21/16 12mm x 7mm x 5mm
3/23/15 12mm x 5.5mm x 4mm
3/13/14 12mm x 6mm x 4mm
8/1/13 14mm x 5mm x 4mm (Expected)
1/22/13 12mm x 3mm (Gamma Knife)
10/10/12 11mm x 4mm x 5mm
4/4/12 9mm x 4mm x 3mm (Diagnosis)

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