Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in Thailand

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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Thailand / Why should opt for Thailand as a destination for your medical treatment
Hospitals in Thailand have seen an increase in number in the past few years. One of the many reasons for such surprise growth in the healthcare division can be the development of the public health sector which comprises 9,765 health locations along with 1,002 hospitals. As the Public Hospitals in Thailand are operated by the MOPH (Ministry of Public Health), the Private Hospitals in Thailand are regulated under the Medical Registration Division. The treatments in Thailand are also keeping up with that of other major countries all across the globe. As of 2002, the Thai Government has provided a countrywide general healthcare system that covers 99.5% of the Thai population and ensures high-quality treatments in Thailand and affordable primary medical amenities to each and every citizen of Thailand. In the year 2009, the total national expenditure on healthcare was 4.3% of the GDP of Thailand. Due to such medical advancements in Thailand, the country has become the most preferred medical destination in the world providing wide-ranging medical treatments at highly-reasonable rates at good hospitals in Thailand.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Thailand? 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 Thailand :
  • Yanhee Hospital
  • Bumrungrad Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital
  • Chaophya Hospital
  • BNH Hospital
  • Ramkhamhaeng Hospital
  • Vejthani Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital Phuket
  • Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
  • Praram 9 Hospital
  • Chiangmai Ram Hospital
  • Sikarin Hospital
  • Synphaet Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital Samui
  • Nonthavej Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital Pattaya
  • Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
  • Samitivej Sriracha Hospital
Are the doctors/surgeons in Thailand of the best quality?
Thailand is gaining recognition for the quality of its healthcare services after the US magazine CEOWORLD placed Thailand 6th in its 2019 list of countries with the best healthcare systems. Thai doctors gain a lot of skills during their course and this helps them practice effectively. Many doctors and surgeons also visit other countries for training and certification courses to enhance their skills and knowledge. Most doctors are exposed to a public and private healthcare system in order to be able to work in any condition. It is a collective effort from all the professionals to maintain the standard of health and Thailand is doing just that.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Thailand?
Currently, medical tourists To Thailand are allowed in from 34 countries. All visitors must have proof of travel health insurance that covers a minimum of US$100,000 of medical costs incurred in Thailand, including medical costs in the event that they contract COVID-19. Under the CCSA regulations, medical tourists have to arrive by air to ensure effective disease control, not via land border checkpoints. All must have an appointment letter from a doctor in Thailand and entry certificates issued by Thai embassies across the globe. People wanting to visit Thailand for medical procedures need to contact the Thai Embassy in their country to organize the visa and paperwork. Thailand’s major hospitals will provide potential candidates with an appointment letter. Permission for medical tourists to be accompanied by up to three attending persons is intended to allow such patients to have spouses, parents, or assistants in attendance during their treatment in Thailand. However, such persons will have to conform to all the same entry requirements as the medical tourists themselves, including visas and health status.
What support services does MediGence provide in Thailand?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in Thailand for medical treatment?
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the most sought - after destination for healthcare. It has more than 10 of the major hospitals in Thailand. The cost of treatment in Thailand is reasonable here. People tend to spend their recovery time in Bangkok as well as it is a beautiful city to visit as a tourist.

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