In the past years, several modern procedures for the treatment of brain disorders have been made available in the Philippines.
These have given Filipinos easier access to procedures that they have otherwise gone abroad for and all the incidental expenses for travel and accommodations to think of.
One such procedure is the Gamma Knife Radiosurgery pioneered by the Philippine Gamma Knife Center at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center. It was established in 1998 to provide the Filipino patient access to neurosurgical technology that was difficult to access. It was created to become a center of excellence for Stereotactic Neurosurgery and Radiosurgery.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery represents an advance in the field of Stereotactic Neurosurgery and is considered as the gold standard in noninvasive brain surgery. It was the result of a relentless pursuit by Dr. Lars Leksell, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, to develop less invasive methods of cranial surgery. Dr. Leksell developed the Gamma Knife as a noninvasive procedure for performing stereotactic functional neurosurgery.
The respect accorded to Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is based on three reasons: its guaranteed quick recovery time, its high performance rating among experts and patients alike, and the team of experts who perform the procedure.
Quick recovery time
Gamma Knife minimizes the possibility of developing complications. Following the patient’s admission, a stereotactic frame is attached to the patient’s head, then, neuroimaging such as MRI, CT Scan or cerebral angiography is performed. A marker on the stereotactic frame allows the Gamma Knife team to localize the tumor or vascular malformation with exact precision on a state of the art computer work station. When the plan is complete, actual treatment will follow which usually last a single day.
“Compared to conventional open surgery, Gamma Knife allows the patients to return to his daily activities quickly and cost effectively. Because the Gamma Knife requires no incisions, and in most cases requires local anesthesia, many of the risk associated with conventional surgery such as infection, hemorrhage, adverse reaction to anesthesia and death are actually eliminated.
The procedure is accomplished within a very brief time frame. It is usually performed as an out patient basis with no associated convalescence. Most patients resume their normal activities after discharge from the center.
Safer and more effective
But more than quick recovery time, what is being commended by doctors and Gamma Knife patients alike is the accuracy with which Gamma Knife treats a brain disorder. In fact, there is no other procedure that can claim to have greater acceptance among the world’s leading hospitals and medical practitioners when it comes to the non-invasive treatment of brain disorders than Gamma Knife.
Here, no scalpels are required and no blood is shed. Patients undergoing the Gamma Knife procedure will have their brain disorders treated, instead, through the delivery of a high single dose of radiation to that area that is affected. That makes it safer as surrounding tissues will not be affected during or after the procedure.
Patients whose lives have been changed after a Gamma Knife treatment also number in hundreds of thousands around the world. The technology involved in this procedure ensures its precision in treating a brain disorder. It has been proven to be one of the most successful radiosurgery weapons in the fight against brain disorders such as Arteriovenous malformation, benign intracranial tumors including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, craniopharyngiomas, pineal tumors, malignant tumors such as metastatic carcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Other candidates for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery include patients with residual lesions left unresected by previous open neurosurgical procedure, patients at high risk for surgical complications due to age or underlying medical problems, and patient who refuse craniotomy. This is why it is preferred by the experts. Morbidity is low and mortality is none.
Since its clinical start-up in 1998, the Philippine Gamma Knife Center has performed over 1700 radiosurgical and open stereotactic procedures. The safety and effectiveness of the Gamma Knife procedure is ensured by a multi disciplinary team of medical professionals which are all trained in Stockholm, Sweden.
The team is composed of Neurosurgeons, headed by Dr. Vesagas who currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Asian Leksell Gamma Knife Society, Radiation Oncologist, Medical Physicist, Anesthesiologist and Neurosurgical Nurse with years of experience behind them. Averaging 130 cases a year, the Stereotactic Neurosurgery team at the Philippine Gamma Knife Center is the most experienced in the country, bar none.