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The Gamma Knife Centre combines the unique expertise of the
Krembil Brain Institute,
UHN Medical Imaging, and the
Princess Margaret Radiation Medicine Program.
The Gamma Knife is a form of radiosurgery – it's a radiation tool known for its precise treatment for targeted areas of the brain.
The Gamma Knife itself is made up of focused beams of radiation that deliver single doses of therapy with the precision of less than one millimetre. We use this for areas of the brain where surgery would be too difficult or too dangerous. The exposure is brief and only the tissue being treated receives a significant radiation dose, while the surrounding tissue remains unharmed.
We are currently the only Gamma Knife center in Ontario, and we accept referrals from all over the province and across the country.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is performed without incisions or the need for general anesthesia. This means there's virtually none of the risks (say, infection or bleeding) that would normally be involved with conventional neurosurgery. There's also generally no hair loss, nausea or vomiting after the treatment.
Patients are discharged from the Gamma Knife Centre on the day of treatment and are usually able to return to their normal activities within a day or two. Most of the time, you won't even need to come back for a repeat treatment.
When you are given a clinic appointment, you will be seen by a team of neurosurgeons and radiation oncology doctors. Your clinical information and imaging will be reviewed. If gamma knife radiosurgery is recommended, you will be shown a video of what the procedure is like, and what to expect. You will have ample time to ask questions. Your treatment date will be booked at that time.
Learn more about
what you can expect when you have a clinic appointment.
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Your treatment planning team includes a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, neurologist and medical physicist.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.