What Are the Possible Complications of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery?


Quick Answer

Swelling around the brain, neurological problems and temporary hair loss are some of the complications associated with Gamma Knife surgery, reports Mayo Clinic. Gamma Knife surgery is an incision-free alternative to traditional brain surgery.

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Headache, localized pain and swelling at the surgical site are the most common early complications of Gamma Knife surgery, according to University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. Nausea, skin irritation, seizures and skin reddening also affect some patients. Delayed complications are less common, but they are usually more serious. Some people experience localized brain swelling, hair loss or tissue death at the surgical site. Rarely, Gamma Knife surgery leads to hearing loss or vision loss.

The Gamma Knife isn't actually a knife but a device used to deliver beams of gamma radiation to the surgical site, explains University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. Because this type of surgery requires no incisions, patients recover faster and return to their normal activities sooner than patients who undergo conventional brain surgery. Gamma Knife procedures have fewer complications than traditional surgery because surgeons are able to deliver radiation to a small target area, sparing the surrounding tissue from damage. This technology is used to treat benign brain tumors, malignant brain tumors, vascular malformations and other neurological disorders.

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