Author Topic: Gamma Knife treatment and the pins  (Read 1582 times)


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Gamma Knife treatment and the pins
« on: April 13, 2017, 07:27:26 pm »
So I've had a sudden appearance of a number of tell-tale symptoms and have seen an ENT, have an MRI scheduled, and have been educating myself about treatment.  My best friend in the world had an AN so I bizarrely knew what it is already, but that's a different story.

I can't find specific information on line about the pins or whatever they are that hold the cage in place when you have the gamma knife procedure.  I understand that afterwards there can be the risk of infection, and pain.  But if there's anyone out there who's had this treatment, can you share, first, how many pins went into your skull?  How deep did they go?  Did they leave scars? 

I'm trying to arm myself with facts to fight the fear.   :)


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Re: Gamma Knife treatment and the pins
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 05:45:00 am »
Four pins but you don't feel them.  they numb you up.  they only go through your skin and press against your skull.  they can leave a scab or nothing.  maybe a little indentation.  if you do get an infection, i presume it would only be a skin infection and can be cleared up fast. no scars that i can see. they do give you a painkiller for the procedure so you don't feel the head frame.  i had no complaints about the procedure.  jury is still out on it's effectiveness.
4 cm AN removed 12/2000
subsequent brain swelling
removal of part of cerebellum
face, scalp,tongue numbness and partial paralysis
no corneal sensation and no tears-frequent eye issues
cognitive issues
Regrowth (3.1 x ..86 cm) treated by SRS on November 6, 2015


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Re: Gamma Knife treatment and the pins
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2017, 06:10:16 am »
The procedure is usually non eventful.  They do numb the pin sights so that  there's no pain when installing the head frame. The pins don't go into your skull,  they just go up against it so the head frame doesn't move during the treatment.  And it won't!    They may become sore for a few days after but,   I would say most people  can handle that quite easy with a few aspirin or advil.   My doc put a few adhesive strips on the pin sight in a cross pattern with a band aid over it and said to not touch it for a day or so and there wouldn't be any scar.  I kept the band aids on for 2 days and have no scar.  Hopefully you don't have an AN.


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Re: Gamma Knife treatment and the pins
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 05:30:07 pm »
Pins were a non-event for me as well. The new Gamma Knife Icon model, presently in use at UPMC and the Cleveland Clinic, has frameless
immobilization and image guided treatment plans. Other hospitals may have the newest model as well. The Icon permits both one time and fractionated treatments.
4.7 cm x 3.6 cm x 3.2 cm vestibular schwannoma
Simplified retrosigmoid @ Cleveland Clinic 10/06/2011
Rt SSD, numbness, vocal cord and swallowing problems
Vocal cord and swallowing normalized at 16 months. Numbness persists.
Regrowth 09/19/2016
GK 10/12/2016 Cleveland Clinic
facial weakness Jan 2017


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Re: Gamma Knife treatment and the pins
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 09:33:06 pm »
Pins are anon issue, though ironically, they were for me. They numb you and put the head frame on like a racing car pitstop. 5 minutes and you may be completely out, but definitely won't feel it. For me, one pin was close to a blood vessel so the anesthesia wore off fast and by the time I was in the machine, it hurt like hell, but that is so rare it's not something to consider. The pin sites may be sore or numb for days or weeks, but not a big deal. Infection is a non issue. Very rare, and superficial if it occurs.