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What are the complications from receiving gamma knife surgery?

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Quick Answer

Complications associated with gamma knife surgery include brain swelling, fatigue, headache, scalp problems, nausea, vomiting and hair problems soon after the procedure, according to Mayo Clinic. Several months after the procedure, patients may suffer brain and neurological disorders.

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Full Answer

Gamma knife surgery is a non-invasive radiosurgery that employs radiation in the treatment of tumors growing in and around the brain, as stated by Mayo Clinic. It is a perfect substitute to neurosurgery, as it does not involve incisions on the skull or on the brain tissue.

Doctors recommend gamma knife surgery when conventional surgery cannot access a tumor in the brain, or when a patient is not healthy enough for neurosurgery, notes Mayo Clinic. It is an effective treatment for brain tumors, trigeminal disorders, acoustic tumors, arterivenous malformations and pituitary tumors.

In preparation of the procedure, patients are required to abstain from all foods and drinks after midnight the night prior to the surgery. In addition, certain prescription medications should be avoided before the procedure. On the day of the procedure, patients are advised to avoid wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses, makeup, jewelry, wigs, nail polish and dentures, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Patients need to tell their doctors of pre-existing allergies, current medications and any implanted medical devices.

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