Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in Spain

GammaKnife is a type of radiosurgery, that is, a surgery conducted with the help of radiation. It is a noninvasive treatment that helps destroy the cancerous tissue precisely from an identified location with the help of ionizing radiation. It can be used to treat cancerous as well as noncancerous tumors.

This type of radiosurgery does not require anesthesia. Most of such surgeries are performed in a single sitting. However, some candidates may require multiple sessions. It is decided using the planning phase before the administration of the treatment. 

GammaKnife radiosurgery is not painful. The actual results of the treatment may be seen radiologically within a few weeks or months of first receiving radiation. For a few painful conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia, patients are relieved almost immediately and can lead a pain-free life. The effects in terms of pain relief can be seen within 1 day to a few weeks.

Factors affecting the cost of Gamma Knife Surgery

The following factors affect GammaKnife surgery cost:

  • Choice of country
  • Type of facility and its location
  • Experience of the specialist
  • Type of condition patient is suffering from
  • Session planning and radiation dosage
  • Location of the tumor and its size
  • Complications management
  • Consultations and follow-ups

The cost of GammaKnife radiosurgery is about $7000 to $9000 in India, $8500 to $11000 in Poland, $28000 to $38000 in the UK, $35000 to $45000 in the US, and $10000 to $13000 in Turkey.

Candidates for Gamma Knife Surgery

People suffering from the following conditions are considered to be the perfect candidates for GammaKnife radiosurgery:

  • Benign tumors
  • Metastatic brain tumor
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Inoperable tumors in the brain
  • Tumors that have recurred after surgery
  • Vascular malformations
  • Intracranial tumors such as chondrosarcomas and pituitary adenomas
  • Intractable pain

The tumors or lesions should be between 5 and 40 millimeters for it to be eligible for GammaKnife radiosurgery.

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About the Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife surgery is a type of noninvasive procedure used to shrink or kill the tumor with the help of ionizing radiation. Unlike conventional surgery, Gamma Knife surgery does not include the use of scissors or surgical blades and knives to make an incision to access the tumor.

Gamma Knife is actually the name of the technique and the equipment that is used to deliver precise radiation to the tumor site. It allows for precise targeting of the tumor without affecting the nearby healthy cells and tissues.

It is a type of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and similar to other techniques such as CyberKnife and X-Knife. Each type of SRS has its own benefits and limitations and therefore, the treatment is applied after careful selection of the candidates for each of these techniques available.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses specialized computerized treatment planning software that helps physicians locate the small target areas inside the head. These target areas are then irradiated with extremely high precision without damaging the nearby tissues.

This type of radiosurgery is now used for the treatment of a number of conditions, including primary or metastatic brain cancers, benign brain tumors (meningioma, acoustic neuroma, and pituitary adenomas), vessel malformations such as arteriovenous malformations, and functional disorders such as trigeminal malformations.

What is it used for?

Gamma Knife radiation is used to treat brain lesions and inoperable tumors in the brains by targeting them with enough radiation. After the procedure, the targeted lesion is expected to shrink, disintegrate completely, or stop growing any further.

This type of radiosurgery is now used for the treatment of a number of conditions, including primary or metastatic brain cancers, benign brain tumors (meningioma, acoustic neuroma, and pituitary adenomas), vessel malformations such as arteriovenous malformations, and functional disorders such as trigeminal malformations.

How is it performed?

Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation to converge in three dimensions to focus on a small area of tumor or lesion precisely. This permits a large volume of high-dose radiation to be delivered with accuracy.

The Gamma Knife machine commonly being used worldwide uses robotic technology for submillimeter patient movement during the procedure to ensure that the complete targeted location is irradiated.

The following are the major steps that are executed during the procedure:

  • An IV line is attached to the arm to deliver a contrast solution. The solution also has a little sedative added to help you relax during the procedure.
  • A headframe as prepared after taking the measurement is attached to position the target and also prevent movement during the procedure.
  • A local anesthetic is given at the location where the head frame pins are inserted. The technician takes a measurement of the head to plan the delivery of radiation.
  • CT/MRI is taken to confirm the exact location of the lesion.
  • The radiation oncology team then sets the machine and configures the area to be targeted, the dosage, and how to target it. All of the readings are set on the computer that controls the radiation.
  • You are made to lie on the Gamma Knife couch and the head frame is attached to the bracket in the machine.
  • A microphone is attached near your head so that you are able to communicate with the team outside.
  • The couch moves inside the machine and the radiation is delivered to the targeted location. The session may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the location and size of the target.
  • Once radiation is delivered, the couch moves out and the team comes and removes the head frame. An ointment is put on the site of the insertion of head frame pins.

Depending on the requirement and treatment planning, a patient may need 1 to 5 sessions or sittings of Gamma Knife radiation to treat the lesion.

How is Gamma Knife Radiosurgery performed?

Recovery from Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a painless procedure. Most of the patients nap during the procedure and so not feel anything.

The head may hurt for 10 minutes as the pins of the head frame are attached. But the pain subsides and there is not much sensation left because of the local anesthetic which is given.

The results and effects of the Gamma Knife radiation may start appearing anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks. The results of radiosurgery are visible on CT/MRI after a few weeks to a few months. However, there can be relief in pain in conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia almost immediately.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Spain / Why should opt for Spain as a destination for your medical treatment?
Spain has a uni payer healthcare system. This means that there is universal coverage for most of the expenses (excluding prescription drugs). One might have to wait for quite some time to avail of elective procedure treatment in Spain. Non-European travelers must have valid health insurance coverage to benefit from the hospitals in Spain. One can also avail of it on a residency visa. The private insurance system helps you to avail the benefits at monthly costs. The taxes in Spain are comparatively lower than those of other European countries. Hence, one can surely opt for this country for medical treatment.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Spain? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are a few JCI certified hospitals in Spain :
  • Vithas Xanit International Hospital
  • Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud
  • Centro Médico Quironsalud Teknon
  • Hospital General de Catalunya
  • Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular (IMO Barcelona)
  • Sanitas Hospitales
  • Guttmann Institute
  • Instituto Balear de Oftalmología (IBO)
Are the doctors/surgeons in Spain of the best quality?
The hospitals in Spain are based on “el sistema national de salud” which provides high-quality care and medical centres, that is, “centros de salud”. This system has public and private healthcare systems, often within the same level. Since many countries send ex-pats here, one can even find an English speaking doctor very easily. Most doctors are adequately skilled and can handle the cases.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Spain?
One has to apply for a Schengen Visa to gain entry into Spain for a medical purpose. The required documents when applying for a Schengen Visa for Medical Treatment are as follows:
  1. Visa application form.
  2. Two photos.
  3. Valid travel document/passport.
  4. A copy of your passport's data page.
  5. Roundtrip flight reservation.
  6. Travel Medical Insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation
What support services does MediGence provide in Spain?
MediGence has been praised on a global scale for the list of services they provide. Apart from the listed services, the staff and the guides are adorned for their customer interaction, impromptu assistance, and various other assistance related guidance throughout the tour. Thus, the list of services provided by MediGence are:
  • Insurance query related guidance
  • In-detail guidance till completion of the medical tour
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Which are the best cities in Spain for medical treatment?
Spain has many cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Pamplona that have some of the best hospitals in Spain. Madrid has good hospitals for general and reproductive health facilities. Barcelona has hospitals specializing in child healthcare.

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