Author Topic: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question  (Read 6520 times)

sewnice50

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« on: November 20, 2006, 11:01:57 am »
I am scheduled for November 30 for the Gamma Knife.  My Dr. recommended a general anesthesia for the head frame part of it because I am so nervous, but I think I will cancel that and be brave.  I have severe neck problems and I would rather be in control of my neck during that part.  I worry if someone accidentally hyper- extends my neck during the putting on of the head frame, I could end up with worse neck pain than I have now.  I was told they do the general for children so I think if other adults can endure the placement of the head frame so can I. 

The Radiation oncologist was wonderful to meet with and she did say my neck is short and they will probably have to squeeze me into  the gamma knife and it may be uncomfortable.  I am still recovering from Rotator cuff surgery and am not looking forward to the pressure. My focus is on stopping the tumor from growing so I am trying to be positive.

My question is this: How is the headframe put on? Are you sitting up? and does the medication they give you for anxiety help get you through this?  ???

Thank you so much.  Its been so wonderful to have your support. Sue

Obita

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 12:00:50 pm »
Hi Sue:

Write to ellenvig.  I remember her saying in one of her posts that she had a short neck.  I am sure she would be able to answer all of your questions.  She had Gamma Knife a few months ago and has many posts here in the Radiation/Radiosurgery section.

Best of luck to you on 11/30.  Kathy
Kathy - Age 54
2.5 cm translab May '04
University of Minnesota - Minneapolis
Dr. Sam Levine - Dr. Stephen Haines

Kilroy1976

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 197
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 12:23:42 pm »
Without knowing anything about the severity of your neck injury, I'd say "don't worry about it." They'll give you a painkiller, which should relax you, and a local anesthetic that will make attachment of the headframe mostly painless. They shouldn't have to wrestle your neck around too much. You will be sitting up when they attach it.

I don't know about squeezing into the GK, but I would really think that if they're going to do damage to your neck during any part of the procedure, they're going to do damage whether you're under a general or a local. The only difference will be that with a general, you won't know it until you wake up. Make sense?
1.8cm AN
Linac
December 13, 2005
Shands Hospital--University of Florida

Sue

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1934
  • Que sera, sera
    • My Blog
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2006, 01:08:27 pm »
Hi

Another GK patient here with my 2 cents worth.

I had this done last April 18.  That headframe looks so intimidating, and without the "happy" pill and local anesthesia, I'm sure it would not be pleasant. However,they do have that pill and once I took the pill, it worked very quickly.  Then they rubbed an ointment on me which helped to deaden the skin, then there is that pinprick when they use the needle to administer the "real" anesthesia. It is a momentary uncomfortable pinpoint of pain. By the time they got around to attaching the frame, I was feeling no pain. I was sitting up but don't remember where exactly..possibly in the wheel chair.  I was relaxed from the pill. Didn't really care what they did to me, at that point!!  I felt some pressure when they tighten it up.  For some reason, it dug into me more on my right side and that was a bit uncomfortable, but not painful, and then it goes away and the happy pill makes you forget what goes on anyway. At least the one they gave me had that effect on me.  The nurse turned to my husband right after I took the pill and said, "She won't remember most of today, and when she get's home she will probably sleep the rest of the day."  I thought, "Darn....this will be interesting and I'm going to forget it."  I would think that since they know your medical history they will try to be as careful with you as they can be.  I was awake throughout the procedure and apparently had a wonderful time as my husband heard a lot of laughing going on, but don't remember much during that time period.  I would think, tho, that if something hurt you, you would be able to tell them. For me, it wasn't much different than getting an MRI, except they lock your head down so you don't move, and it's not noisy.  I understand your concern, but if your medical staff is as nice and caring and professional as the ones I dealt with, I'm sure you will be just fine.  Happy Thanksgiving.  :)

Sue in Vancouver
Sue in Vancouver, USA
 2 cm Left side
Diagnosed 3/13/06 GK 4-18-06
Gamma Knife Center of Oregon
My Blog, where you can read my story.


http://suecollins-blog.blogspot.com/2010/02/hello.html


The only good tumor be a dead tumor. Which it's becoming. Necrosis!
Poet Lorry-ate of Goode

kat

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 08:08:07 am »
Hi Sue

I think you are doing the right thing about not having the general anasthetic since it is important to be able to tell the operators
of the zapper if you have any discomfort . The fitting of the headframe is the most uncomfortable bit but I was given a happy pill
an hour earlier so that it did not worry me too much . I was sitting up when the frame was put on and because I am a wimp about
needles the four local anasthetic injections were the worst part for me. When it was over I felt no pain at all and was allowed to sit
in a waiting area and have a cup of coffee ( through a straw ) whilst my GK program was worked out .  The Zap was quite
painless after everything was adjusted to make me comfortable . I was also listening to music during the procedure . I think it took about 35-40 minutes and was divided into two sections .  Afterwards I had a slight headache a bit like a mild hangover and I was given a couple of painkillers and a light lunch  after which I had a rest in my room . The next day I was allowed home and apart from
 a feeling a bit like jetlag for a few days after I felt fine .   All I can say is that if I had to have another zap tomorrow I would not hesitate to go though it all again . It is the waiting for it and worrying about what it will be like that is far worse that the actual treatment . Good luck on the 30th of Nov .

Best regards Kat 

2.2 cm AN diagnosed July 2004 . GK at  the Royal Hallamshire
Sheffield UK in April 2005 2nd MRI in December 06 showed signs of the AN shrinking and MRI in FEB 08 showed no change . SO FAR SO GOOD .

ellenvig

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 83
    • My AN
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 10:15:33 am »
Hi,

I'm the one with the short neck....

They gave me Ativan in my IV and I really didn't care what they did to me after that!  Injecting the local hurt for a few seconds, especially in the back area, but attaching the head frame didn't.  I just felt pressure.  I was sitting up, and they didn't bend my neck at all.

As for fitting into the machine with the short neck, that was the hard part.  They had to place extenders onto the head frame rather than just snapping me in.  This is what they do with children too.

Feel free to email me, and good luck!

Ellen
2.3cm AN diagnosed 6/13/06.
Gamma Knife 9/22/06.
Dr. Greorg Noren, Providence RI.
http://savyon.com/ellen/AN.htm

ppearl214

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7447
  • ANA Forum Policewoman - PBW Cursed Cruise Director
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2006, 05:38:05 pm »
Sue,

Nov 30 coming up and sending you oodles of best wishes on the 30th! Hang in there!

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

michael

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2006, 01:36:29 pm »
Dear Sue,
I assume you are all finished and feeling better today. I am sorry I didn't see your question before now. I had my Gamma Knife 18 months ago and the placing of the frame on my head (the novicane shots) hurt like the devil but not to a point of not being able to just deal with it. Much like a trip to the dentist I guess. After that it was just uncomfortable for me and then it took about 7 days for the feeling of numbness to completely leave my head. I am bald on top so maybe the already lack of blood supply to my scalp made it slower with me.
I just got an 18 month MRI check up and the tumor has shrunk in size and I feel very normal. I have a loss of hearing which appears to be the same as before radiation.
I hope you are doing great!
Michael
11 MM AN - Gamma Knife 4/2004 - Wake Forest/Baptist Hospital - North Carolina, Dr. Ed Shaw

Sue

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1934
  • Que sera, sera
    • My Blog
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2006, 07:43:30 pm »
Yeah Sue, we are wondering how you are doing.....  I am curious how it all went for you and if you found it painful.  It's interesting how we all respond differently.  I didn't find it very painful at all, and I can't believe that I have that high of a pain thresh hold.   I hope you are tolerating the steroids, which was more of an issue for me.  Also, I am remembering now that once my AN got nuked, I experienced nerve's going crazy and my face on the AN side felt like the aurora borealis, a light show in my skin.  I used a cool washcloth to ease the minor discomfort and just waited it out. It subsided after a few weeks, if not sooner.  Hope you are doing okay and that your experience was not awful. (I can't imagine it would be....)

Sue in Vancouver USA
Sue in Vancouver, USA
 2 cm Left side
Diagnosed 3/13/06 GK 4-18-06
Gamma Knife Center of Oregon
My Blog, where you can read my story.


http://suecollins-blog.blogspot.com/2010/02/hello.html


The only good tumor be a dead tumor. Which it's becoming. Necrosis!
Poet Lorry-ate of Goode

Obita

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2006, 06:53:58 am »
Hi Sue:

I just wanted to check in on you too.  I do hope all went well and the headframe was not too much of a problem for you. 

And Michael:

Congrats on your MRI results and having Gamma Knife behind you.

Kathy
Kathy - Age 54
2.5 cm translab May '04
University of Minnesota - Minneapolis
Dr. Sam Levine - Dr. Stephen Haines

michael

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Gamma Knife for November 30 -headframe question
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2006, 05:53:43 pm »
Sue,
Hoping you will post soon to let us all know how you are doing. I flew to a convention the day after my radiation and was pretty self conscious about not being able to wash my hair for several days, even though I have very little to wash. The back of my head was a bit messy.
I hope that you did not have any problems with the head frame, it was quite different from what I ahd envisioned. I think my greatest concern was my head being "completely" immobilized and me being in the MRI. I was afraid that I would really get claustraphobic. I feel like a pro now, just slid me in and let me sleep.
I hope you will feel well soon.

Kathy, thank you for your comment also. I have enjoy the support form others that have been through a similar experience.  Hope you are well.

Michael
11 MM AN - Gamma Knife 4/2004 - Wake Forest/Baptist Hospital - North Carolina, Dr. Ed Shaw

 


anything
anything