Navigation Links
Gamma Knife Offers Noninvasive Treatment for Vascular Disorders, Brain Tumors

A week after graduating from high school, Katherine Coit had brain surgery to remove an abnormal tangle of blood vessels that were bleeding in her brain.//

The potentially life-threatening condition called arterio-venous malformation (AVM) was diagnosed after Ms. Coit woke up one morning with numbness in her mouth and in one of her hands. Her surgeon was able to remove more than 90 percent of the AVM during a craniotomy three years ago, but a small, worm-shaped portion about one-inch long remained. It caused her constant migraine headaches, but was located so deep in her brain that it was too dangerous to remove with conventional brain surgery.

A team of specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center found a solution using the latest radiation technology to treat inoperable vascular malformations, cancer and benign tumors of the brain – the Gamma Knife. On Aug. 11, doctors used the Gamma Knife to focus 201 beams of cobalt radiation with sub-millimeter precision on the remaining AVM in Ms. Coit’s brain.

Patients at UT Southwestern benefit from a breadth of experience and expertise among the physicians of the Gamma Knife team that is unprecedented in North Texas. A group of nationally renowned neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, neuro-interventional radiologists and physicists, supported by a dedicated nursing staff, review each case to devise the optimal treatment plan.

“The Gamma Knife offers a more accurate way to treat smaller and deeper areas in the brain,” said Dr. Bruce Mickey, vice chairman of neurological surgery and director of the Annette G. Strauss Center in Neuro-Oncology. “We have the breadth of experience in dealing with all types of vascular malformations within the nervous system and brain tumors. We don’t steer patients into one type of treatment.

“By combining our expertise, we look at the best, most promising options for each patient. It may be conventional brain surgery for one patient and the Gamma Knife for another patient.”

In Ms. Coit’s case, no incision was necessary for the 75-minute treatment in UT Southwestern’s new Gamma Knife suite that opened last December. The college student reclined on a treatment couch and listened to a boom box playing a mix tape she had made of her favorite songs. Her head was immobilized in a stereotactic head frame whose coordinates provide a reference grid to allow doctors to pinpoint the radiation beams to the target area. It’s all done by computer. Ms. Coit was able to go home a few hours after the procedure. Four days later, the Texas Tech University business management senior was celebrating her 21st birthday.

“I hope this will take care of it, and I will no longer have these terrible migraine headaches,” she said.

Dr. Robert Timmerman, vice chairman of radiation oncology, supervises most of the Gamma Knife procedures at UT Southwestern. He has treated more than 1,000 patients with the Gamma Knife during his career and is considered one of the top international experts on stereotactic radiosurgery.

“The beauty of the Gamma Knife is that you can treat incredibly small targets with a precision of one-tenth of a millimeter,” said Dr. Timmerman. “This minimizes the risk of damage to healthy tissue next to the target. In addition, we can block selected radiation beams to limit exposure to the target and spare other areas, such as the optic nerve.”

A few hours before treatment, Ms. Coit underwent an angiogram and a magnetic resonance imaging scan of her brain, giving her team of physicians up-to-date diagnostic data to locate the precise target area for the treatment. The scans are entered into a computer program offering a three-dimensional image of the AVM in her brain and allowing her doctors, assisted by a radiation physicist, to chart the coordinates for the powerful Gamma Knife beams.

“The Gamma Knife was the safest option for her,” said Dr. Tony Whitworth, assistant professor of neurological surgery. “Following the treatment, the blood vessels in her AVM will completely clot off during the next two years. No blood will flow through there any longer, and there will be no risk of further bleeding.”


Related medicine news :

1. Gamma Knife Offers New Hope For Trigeminal Neuralgia Patients
2. A New Gamma Camera Technique for the Detection of Small Breast Tumors
3. Gamma Knife Offers New Hope For Trigeminal Neuralgia Patients
4. Pancreatitis: Minimially Invasive Procedure Offers Long-Term Pain Relief
5. Drug Offers Hope for Alzheimers disease
6. Drug Firm Offers to Donate Smallpox Vaccine
7. fMRI Offers Insight Into An Infants Brain
8. Gel Offers A More Targeted Approach
9. Umbilical Cord Blood Offers Hope For Patients Who Require Bone Marrow Transplants
10. Surgery Offers Better Treatment For Third Degree Piles
11. New Study Offers Hope For Balding Men
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of the well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official ... independent group of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment ... itself for not only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going ... price and providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to announce that ... awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored to join ... twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. CBD College ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. ... Medical Associates, Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., ... observed that both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class ... (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the change ... version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische ... ) --> ...      (Photo: ) ... Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- 3D bioprinting market is expected to ... report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic ... transplantation is expected to boost the market growth, as 3D ... --> 3D bioprinting market is expected to ... report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the Global Cell Surface Testing ... Opportunities" report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: