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Gamma Knife
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Gamma Knife

Hello,
I am 52 years old woman and have been diagnosed with a meningeoma in September 2005. I was sent for the first MRI because of my never ending headches. I have no symptoms other than headaches which have slightly increased. In May 07 I had to go back for an other MRI and this follow up showed, that the meningeoma has slightly increased but is still considered benign. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon to discuss, wheather or not, I need to have surgery or we can wait. But I found out today, that this neurosurgeon will discuss my case next week with a team of doctors etc., if I am a candidate for the Gamma Knife procedure. My questions, is this a good sign, when I am considered a candidate? How effective is this procedure? What is the approx. rate of patients who, after the Gamma Knife procedure, still have to undergo "real surgery"? What are the possible side effects after the Gamma Knife, in worst cases? How much danger is there to it, that healthy brain substances may be touched and destroyed with this radiation? Since this meningeoma could, in the long, affect my eye sight, is is possible, that I might experience a better eye sight after some months, after this procedure? How much danger is there to it, that after the radiation, I could experience seizures, which I never had. Thank you for every possible information. Ursula
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I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma (benign tumor next to the brain stem) back in November 2006 and had the choice of surgery or gamma knife. I appreciate that your tumor is different but i thought you may be interested in what i found out about gamma knife. Gamma knife is stereotactic radiation and therefore is very, very acurate at only hitting the desired area, in my case it would have been a day procedure and i would have been able to go home same day. Gamma knife in my case (and i assume yours) stops the tumour from growing any further (and slightly srinks it) so is suitable if the tumour is small enough to simple be stopped from growing, although it will remain. I was told that there was a 90% success rate meaning that there was a 10% chance that it would continue to grow and then i would be looking at surgery. i was told that surgery after gamma knife can be a little more tricky as the tumour has scar tissue from the radiation and makes it a little more adhesive, but this may not apply to your tumour. There is some belief that gamma knife VERY RARELY and LONG TERM i.e 15 - 20 years later can potentially turn a benign tumour malignant although it was stressed to me that this was UNLIKELY. My decision in the end was based on whether i could live with knowing the tumour was always going to be there but have a fairly non-invasive procedure or have a big (albeit not life threatening) operation but know that the tumour was gone. In the end i had surgery as i just wanted it all over with but i believe that gamma knife is safe and effective. I hope this helps and good luck!!!!
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I too was given the same options for an AC and opted for surgery.  I had the op for the same reason as I wanted the "thing" out so I could get on with my life knowing I would need no more treatment.  Its a big decision to make and it took several weeks with lots of chats to people who had an AC and to the medics.  Try and talk to people who have had both treatments, but make sure the final decision is yours alone. Now it is all over I know I made the right choice. Hope all goes well for you.
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I know my situation is a little different but I did have the gamma knife.  In 1989 I was diagnosed with a clivus chordoma when I was 9.   I had surgery to remove it and then it grow back.  After my second surgery I had the gamma knife procedure in 1990 along with radiation therapy.  The remainder of the tumor shrunk a little and it never grew back it's been 17 years and I'm doing great.  The only thing I have trouble with is getting pregnant and that was from the radiation therapy I had after the gamma knife
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