The Wonders of Gamma Knife

Last April 5, I got an email inviting me to be part of the Media Launch of Gamma Knife in Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

I heard about this Gamma radiation treatment years ago, on cable TV. Not in a million years would I ever thought that we already have that kind of equipment right here in the Philippines, that is why I got so excited for the invitation.
You see, I had my internships in two known hospitals in QC before and I was able to see different kinds of high tech equipment there.
It's nothing like anything compared to this one. Only in Cardinal Santos Medical Center has this kind of equipment.
A brief history :
Neurosurgeon Lars Leksell, from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, Together with Börje Larsson, a radiobiologist from Sweden's Uppsala University. Invented the device in 1967.
The Gamma Knife (also known as the Leksell Gamma Knife) is a single treatment modality unit which emits 201 Gamma Ray beams stereo-tactically and precisely to the brain lesion without harming the surrounding tissues.
It provides patients with another option for the treatment of tumors, vascular malformations, trigeminal neuralgia and other conditions of the brain that were once only managed with open surgery.
The Procedure :
(The patients should be NPO , nothing by mouth, even water, before doing the procedure).
  • FRAME FIXATION - A stereotactic frame is attached to the patient's head (would you  believe,     Only local anaesthesia may be given to adults. General anaesthesia to children)

  • NEUROIMAGING - MRI (accurate & precise) , CT Scan or Cerebral Angiography are next performed.
Dr. Theodore Vesagas

(Theodore Vesagas said "The target really is to control the growth of the tumor , stopping the cell division and not totally eliminate it. Brain tumor is like a mole. you can have it anywhere in your body. The risk involved with brain tumors though is that it puts pressure to the brain and creating problems with the whole body. like facial paralysis, affects lower or half part of your body. etc".)
  • TREATMENT PLANNING -  Ficudial markers on the stereotactic frame allow the Gamma Knife team to localize the tumor or vascular malformation with exact precision on the state-of-the-art computer workstation. The team customizes Each plan to patients.
  •   ACTUAL TREATMENT - When the plan is complete, the patient is placed on the Gamma Knife couch. The Collminator Helmet (containing the 201 portals through which the gamma rays are focused) is selected and then attached to the Stereotactic frame on the patient's head. This prevents movement and ensures perfect allignment during treatments.

The Gamma Knife is provided with a set of four collimator helmets, providing collimator sizes of 4, 8, 14 and 18 mm respectively.(depending on the size of the tumor)

  • REST & OBSERVATION: Usually the patient will be observed for a night after treatment. But in many instances it is not necessary to do so.
Compared to conventional open surgery, Gamma knife allows the patients to return to his daily activities quickly and cost effectively. Many of the risk associated with conventional surgery such as infection, hemorrhage, adverse reaction to aneasthesia and death are totally eliminated.

The COST? The procedure can cost up to 550,000 pesos. 
It includes MRIs, Rooms and miscellaneous fees, Blood tests/ medical services , all those things needed to be done.

The Gamma Knife has been used in the successful treatment of more than 120,000 patients at leading hospitals worldwide. More than 1000 patients here in the Philippines have successfully treated as well, as of January this year (2011).
Studies have been revealed that, at 2-year follow -up, as many as 88% of patients demonstrate complete obliteration of AVMs smaller than 4cm.
Acoustic Neuromas have responded to Gamma Knife treatment in 90% of patients treated.

18 FIlipino Neurosurgeons went to Elekta AB ,public company,A Swedish public company that treats brain tumors , To learn and have additonal knowledge about The Gamma Knife. Something to be proud of as a Filipino!

The Team is composed of Neurosurgeons headed by Dr. Theodore Vesagas who currently sits on board of Directors of the Asian Leksell Gamma Knife Society, Radiation Oncologist , medical Physicist , Anaesthesiologist and Neurosurgical Nurse with years of experience behind them. Averaging 130  cases per year, The Stereotactic Neurosurgery Team at the Gamma Knife Center Is the most experienced in the country, bar none.

Need to know more about how Gamma Knife Can help you?
Visit their website at
Located at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center Compound
, wilson st. Greenhills, San Juan , Metro manila, Philippines

727-0001 to 17 locals 3505/3506
FAX: +632727-7653
email :

No comments:

God Bless & Stay Safe!

Stuckwith3. Powered by Blogger.