Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in Tunisia

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 Tunisia / Why should opt for Tunisia as a destination for your medical treatment?
Hospitals in Tunisia are developing and trying to meet the international standards of healthcare. Although there is a basic set up in most of the hospitals for treatment in Tunisia, one can still expect scope for improvement. The Ministry of Health, along with the Government of Tunisia is making effective changes for the healthcare sector. The private hospitals in Tunisia are also undergoing a robust change to provide effective healthcare and treatment in Tunisia.

Like most other countries, hospitals in Tunisia have a private and public healthcare system. Hospitals in Tunisia include three levels of care: primary, with a network of 81 clinics and 2091 basic health centers; secondary, with 109 district hospitals; and tertiary, with 33 regional hospitals and 24 modern CHUs, according to MoS figures.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Tunisia? 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.
In Tunisia, there are no JCI accredited hospitals but 4 private hospitals are certified ISO and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).
Are the doctors/surgeons in Tunisia of the best quality?
The hospitals in Tunisia have seen a constant change in terms of development and technology. Most doctors that are trained in the country understand the needs and requirements of people and are able to diagnose and treat them well. There are various surgeons that fly in from other countries as well to treat patients. This was brought about due to the economic reforms and various expats residing there. The varying levels of health organizations provide reasonable means of treatment for any patient. There are also trained paramedical and emergency service staff in this country.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Tunisia?
Patients who wish to visit Tunisia for medical purposes must contact the Embassy of Tunisia in their home country. One is required to have a valid passport. Those applicants must submit their visa application forms in person together with the following documents:
  1. A duly completed application form with one picture (within a white background).
  2. Original biometric passport and one copy. Passports should have a validity of at least one year from the date of your visa application submission.
  3. Medical certificate stating the type of illness and the treatment to be carried out. This document has to be in English or Spanish language.
  4. Letter from the hospital in Tunisia stating the appointment date and whether the treatment expenses have been already paid in full.
  5. Proof of financial means which enable the applicant to meet life needs while in Tunisia (salary certificate if working, bank statement for the last six months, property deeds, commercial license, other sorts of income).
  6. Travel insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation (hotel reservation, etc)
  8. Applicants are advised that ALL PASSPORTS HAVE TO REMAIN at the Embassy premises while the visa application is under process (between 10 and 15 days), and therefore cannot be retrieved unless very special and urgent circumstances might arise.
  9. The Embassy has the right to require from the applicant any document that it may deem relevant in order to resolve the visa file.
What support services does MediGence provide in Tunisia?
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 Tunisia for medical treatment?
Tunis is the largest country and capital of Tunisia. This country is located in the northern region of Africa and is the best city for treatment in Tunisia.

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