Human brain is known as the most complicated part of the human body. Not only some contractory or circulatory systems like other organs, it is composed of remarkably 86 billion of neurons. It controls our movements, emotions, memory, breathing and every other process that regulates our body. We can discuss about it for at least thousands of pages but the purpose of this article is to inform people about Gamma knife and Cyber knife technologies.
Imagine you learned that you have something wrong with your brain. You see dozens of doctors, go every healthcare organization and yet the result is horrible. Guess what? You have a brain tumor. Just to give a brief information about brain tumors, they are basically divided as benign tumors or malign tumors. Menengiomas, pituıtary adenomas, acoustic neuromas as benign tumors; glial tumors and metastases from other tumors as malign ones.
If you try some surgical procedures, you will probably damage the healthy brain tissue and this damage will lead some problems in patients life. Of course the location, size of the tumor and patients situation can increase or decrease the risk but why don’t we use less invasive techniques?. Here is why we are talking about Gamma Knife and Cyber Knife.
Gamma Knife is a surgical procedure that is not invasive, means you don’t open up the skull. But how it works? Imagine there are 192 different points and they are all capable of producing gamma rays that can not damage the normal brain tissue. Gamma rays from these different points reunite at a certain point in our target tissue. So it removes the target tissue without damaging the healty brain tissue. This procedure ends in one session and then, patient can proceed his/her normal life.
How do we define the exact coordinates of the tumor? The device is called as Stereotactic Frame -although Gamma Knife is not invasive, stereotactic frame is invasive-. It defines the coordinates and stabilize the patients head for treatment. Local anesthesia is used in this procedure. After that, we monitorize the target tissue and define the proper dose. While the patient is in the machine, gamma ray treatment starts.
What kind of cases we use the Gamma Knife? Some brain tumors that i mentioned before, some vascular cases like arteriovenous malformations and cavernomas, and functional brain diseases such as trigeminal neuralgia, parkinsonism and epilepsy.
Cyber Knife is the robotic radiosurgery procedure that can be used to treat cancer in every part of human body. The system is composed of 6 joints on an industrial robot that produces 6 MV X rays -linear accelerator LINAC- and a sickbad that can move trough 6 ways. The main difference between Gamma Knife and Cyber Knife is that there is no need to use invasive frames to stabilize patient. As you can guess, no need for general or local anesthesia too.
Where do we use it? In addition to intracranial tumors, we use it for lung/liver/pancreas/prostate cancers, soft tissue tumors, spinal tumors, metastatic and recurrent cancers.
GAMMA KNIFE, BİR IŞINDAN FAZLASI: DOLAYIMLANMIŞ MÜDAHALENİN CERRAHİ ALANI YENİDEN YAPILANDIRICI ETKİSİ, Ali ERGUR, Şadiye NUROĞLU, Sosyoloji Araştırmaları Dergisi / Journal of Sociological Research, Cilt / Volume 24, Sayı / Number 2 (Nisan / April 2021) : (199-226)
Author: Rabia Topgaç