Gamma Knife treatment  23/24 July 2006



Sent: August 8, 2006

Royal Hallamshire Hospital SheffieldA special thanks to Mavis and all the staff on ward N2 of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital Sheffield. To Mr JG Rowe and the team. An extra special thanks to Sue Seaman who spent the whole day with Sandra and myself, explaining everything, and who listened to all my ramblings and made it all seem very easy.


Radiosurgery PreparationWe arrived at 1pm prompt and we were taken to a side room., a comfortable room with a TV, shower w/c and much to my amusement an electric bed (Simpson's fans, "bed goes up, bed goes down"). Mavis the Matron brought us some tea and explained the procedure for the day, which consisted of a nurse taking blood pressure, heart rate and asking all sorts of medical questions.

We were then visited by the Consultant Mr Rowe who explained the procedure for the following day. This involves having a helmet fitted to my head and then an MRI scan and then being transferred to another hospital just a few yards down the road. He also explained that the Radiosurgery can continue to work for 2 years. He also explained that the blood vessels of a Cavernous Angioma are smaller than a Venous Angioma so they would not show on an MRI because of the "Hemosiderin" therefore being unable to tell whether the treatment had worked.

Next we had to wait for a Dr to examine me and have some more medical tests, reflex, breathing, chest, and balance. As junior Dr's are always busy we had a long wait about 4 hours. But in he came and with his northern humor soon put me at ease, did his examination and prescribed some medication to be taken that night. This medication was Anti-inflammatory pills, sleeping pills and antacids. He then said I would be able to go and stay at the hotel with Sandra and that it was ok for me to have a small drink but not get pissed. We had to be back at the hospital for 6am for some more medication.


Back in the room at the hospital for 6am and I was given a light breakfast and some more pills to take the same as the night before including the sleeping tablets. I just dropped of at 8am when the radiographer "Sue" came to get me and we went to the fitting room. Here there were about 4 people fitting the helmet to my head which involved tightening sharp grub nut type things on my scalp two at the front and two at the back, they would inject me with local anaesthetic, tighten the grub nut I would say "Ooo that's beginning to hurt". (Sandra had to look away) and they would pop in some more anaesthetic. The whole thing took about 20 mins.

Andre's helmet #1




I was then taken to the MRI room. Before the scan they put a plastic mock up of the collimator from the Gamma Knife and poked me with sticks through the mock up to take measurements. I then had the MRI scan and that lasted about 7 mins.

Leksell Gamma KnifeWe then have a long wait while the radiographers do there calculations and see if they can go ahead with the planned procedure. We still did not know if it would happen. After about half an hour I was given the all systems go and we were then taken "by taxi" to the next hospital and the Gamma Knife unit.

Again we were told very carefully what was going to happen and we were shown the equipment and the control room. It was explained that the procedure would last about 40 minutes and that I would be zapped 6 times. All I had to do was lie back and not move. As it happens when your head is locked in the machine you can't move anyway. I just closed my eyes. To be honest I probably would have slept if it was not for the clonking of the helmet docking to the machine every few minutes or so. It was very quiet.

Radiosurgery procedure #1

Radiosurgery procedure #2

Radiosurgery procedure #3

Radiosurgery procedure #4

That's it job done. Came out of the machine and took the helmet off. There was a little blood coming out of the holes from the grub nuts. It was explained to me that after today I would be back in care of Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, and that a follow up consultation should be expected in 3 to 6 months.

I was then taken to a ward where I was expected to stay overnight. As it happens my bed had been taken and they said I would have a long wait until one came available. However I asked if I really needed to stay overnight and said that I don't mind if I stay at the hotel, Sue said she would check if that was ok. After a short while it was agreed that I could go after I was given some more medication to take with me.

Post-op #13pm back at the hotel enjoying a pint. Then had a good nights sleep and got back home at lunch time Tuesday. I feel great I feel that a lot of pressure has gone off my shoulders. There is still a long way to go and I am far from sure if it has been a success. We will just have to wait for the follow up appointments.



Post op #2Thats it Brain Zapped!





United Kingdom