Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in the United Arab Emirates

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates / Why should opt for the United Arab Emirates as a destination for your medical treatment?
The United Arab Emirates is counted among the most developed countries in the world in terms of healthcare benefits. UAE is home to some of the most progressed states and cities in the world which are praised for embracing modern advancements with open arms. Apart from the various other developments, the healthcare benefits, including the professionals and the infrastructure, are astounding. In contrast to the other major countries, the United Arab Emirates, however, does not charge an exorbitant fee in return for necessary treatment, which is why thousands of people opt UAE as their primary medical treatment destination. Besides, it is well-connected to various corners of the world which also makes it easily accessible by candidates all around.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in the United Arab Emirates? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The hospitals in the United Arab Emirates are known for providing exemplary services to the visitors. A high number of these hospitals and clinics are known for their incomparable patient interaction as well as infrastructure. The hospitals are very well-maintained and thus, pose least threat to survival. A large number of hospitals are known to be JCI approved as they have accomplished every infrastructural requisites as well as maintained a healthy medical environment to serve international tourists for healthcare purposes. Though there are several JCI approved hospitals in UAE, here are five popular ones among them:
  • American Hospital Dubai
  • International Modern Hospital
  • Dubai Hospital- DOHMS
  • Rashid Hospital- DOHMS
  • Oasis Hospital
One of the primary reasons for the hospitals bagging JCI accreditation is the quality of staffs working there. Not only the doctors and the surgeons serving patients, but also the support staffs are well-rounded to handle all kinds of situations to ensure quality support required by the candidates.
Are the doctors/surgeons in the United Arab Emirates of the best quality?
The doctors and surgeons in the United Arab Emirates are globally recognized for their service towards the medical field. Furnished with degrees from reputed universities and decades of training and experience, the doctors have earned high success rates throughout their professional career.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in the United Arab Emirates?
Certain countries allow visitors to enjoy visa-free entry for a period of 30 days, 90 days or 180 days, varying upon the country and the rules followed. In the UAE, the Patient Companion Visa and the UAE Medical Treatment Visa might be required, depending on the period of staying for medical purposes. Although the visas are arranged by the hospitals (in most cases) where treatment in being availed, yet the candidate must posses the following documents necessary for travelling and availing medical benefits from UAE:
  • Two passport size pictures of the candidate not older than six months
  • Valid passport (original and photocopy) which should not have expiration at least 6 months beyond the stipulated stay of the candidate
  • Valid proof of medical insurance showing the financial credibility
  • Medical certificate issued by the registered medical practitioner treating the candidate, clearly stating the requirement and the cause of the travel.
  • Acceptance letter from the medical practitioner to whom the candidate is being referred to.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
Candidates availing treatment in a different country goes through high speculations. Besides the urgency and the immediate need for treatment, there are several other hassles, dealing which becomes tough for the individuals. Keeping in mind such dilemma, MediGence takes complete responsibility and provides umpteenth care so as to relieve the candidate from unnecessary exhaustion. Thus, the services provided are:
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Visa Assistance
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Free Airport to Hospital Transfer
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Which are the best cities in the United Arab Emirates for medical treatment?
The United Arab Emirates is known for housing some of the most advanced metropolises in the world. However, among them only a handful are renowned for the medical treatment facilities offered. Hence, some of the best cities for medical treatment in the United Arab Emirates are:
  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Sheikh
  • Sharjah

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