Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
Our 10 medical programs are spread across eight hospital sites – Princess Margaret, Toronto General, Toronto Rehab’s five sites, Toronto Western – as well as our education programs through the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Learn more about the services, programs and amenities offered at each location.
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Find out how to get to and around our nine locations — floor plans, parking, public transit, accessibility services, and shuttle information.
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3 hours before your scheduled procedure time:
Medical Imaging Reception
Toronto Western Hospital
3rd Floor, East Wing, Room 448 - Go up the East elevators to the 3rd floor. TWH Maps & Directions
All hospital entrances are open by 6 am. However, Bathurst St. and Leonard Ave. are easiest to access.
If there is no one at the reception desk, please have a seat and the nurse will come get you. DO NOT wait outside the Gamma Knife Clinic because no one is there at that time.
We will then take images of your head and brain. It will show the exact size, shape and position of the target in your brain. Your doctors may use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerized Tomography (CT) or an Angiogram to do this.
For these procedures, a dye may be injected into your veins. This will be done during the scan. It will help the doctors see your tumour(s) more clearly.
If you are getting an MRI, tell your doctor if you have:
The staff will fill out a questionnaire with you before your MRI.
This is the test used if you have an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). For this scan, a dye will be injected into your veins. If you are allergic to the dye you must tell the doctor in the clinic before you are booked for treatment. You will be given a prescription for some special allergy medicine. A transparent box will be placed on your head over the frame during the scan. When the scan is done, the radiation therapist will take the box off. When your scans are done, you will go back to the Medical Imaging Day Unit. You will need to lay flat for 4 hours after the angiogram.
The radiation therapists will help you lie down on your back on the treatment bed. They will also help attach your frame to the treatment couch.
The radiation therapists will leave the treatment room during your treatment but they can see you on the video cameras. They can also talk to you if they need to. Before your treatment starts, the couch will move so that your head will be inside the treatment unit.
During treatment, you will not feel the radiation. There is also no noise from the treatment unit. The treatment can take several hours to finish.
You may move in and out of the treatment unit several times during your treatment. The radiation therapists may also have to adjust the position of your head frame.
You will need to stay still during your treatment. During this time you can listen to music in the room or you can bring your own iPod or CD player.
The stereotactic head frame is an important part of your treatment. It will be put on you the morning of your treatment. The head frame keeps your head very still during imaging and treatment. This helps make sure that the treatment only affects the target area in your brain. This frame stays on your head for the entire procedure.
A neurosurgeon will attach the lightweight titanium frame to your head. Before they put it on, you will get a local anesthetic injection. It will numb the areas on your head where the pins will be attached. The injection stings and burns for about 30 seconds. Then, when your medicine is working, the doctor will place the pins. They will use adjustable posts and pins. You will feel some pressure when the pins are placed. This feeling goes away in about 5 to 10 minutes. You will be moving around by wheelchair for the rest of the day. This is because it is not safe for you to walk with the head frame on. Someone will take you to the room for imaging.