We want you to know what to expect and feel comfortable about the Gamma Radiosurgery procedure. You should plan to be at the Gamma Radiosurgery Center of New Orleans for four to six hours. A family member should accompany you and plan to remain with you the entire day. If you have any questions after reading this Gamma Radiosurgery Patient's Guide, please call us at 504-891-2173.
After you're admitted to the Gamma Radiosurgery Center of New Orleans, you will be given a mild sedative and you will have an IV started. You will be carefully fitted with a head-guiding device called a stereotactic frame. The frame positions your head precisely on the treatment couch during Gamma Radiosurgery treatment. A small amount of local anesthetic will be injected to numb the skin where the stereotactic frame's four pins attach to your skull. Anesthetic is used so the patient experiences as little discomfort as possible. This guiding device will be removed after the Gamma Radiosurgery treatment is complete.
To define the location, size, shape and nature of lesions or abnormalities, you will have an imaging study done with the stereotactic headframe in place. If you have a brain tumor, your Gamma Radiosurgery nurse will wheel you to Touro's MRI department. There you will have several MRI images taken. When completed, you will return to the Gamma Radiosurgery suite. CT images may also be required.
If you have an arteriovenous malformation - an artery and vein that have not formed properly - you may have a cerebral angiogram.
After imaging, you will return to the Gamma Radiosurgery suite. During this time, your neurosurgeon, a radiation physicist and other trained staff will examine the imaging studies and design a customized plan for your radiosurgery treatment. Your nurse will be available to monitor your comfort and your family member may visit you. Many patients choose to simply nap during this planning time, which can range from one to four hours.
When the treatment plan is complete, you will be taken to the treatment room where you will be positioned on the bed of the Infini Rotating Gamma System. While reclining on the treatment bed, your head will be supported and positioned using the frame. You will be positioned comfortably with blankets and under-knee padding. When the treatment begins, you will simply feel the bed move into position, similar to a CT scan movement. Once in position, the Infini will deliver the radiation precisely, according to the customized plan your doctor and the team created for you. It is important that you understand that during the actual treatment, you will not feel anything. Gamma radiation has no sensation, sound or smell. There is no temperature change and nothing will touch you. The treatment is, in fact, boring. Throughout the treatment you can communicate with your team of specialists through visual monitoring and two-way voice communication. If you brought CDs, we can continue to play your favorite music.
During the treatment, the Infini delivers your prescribed dose through 30 open ports as the unit rotates the cobalt-60 sources around your head. While each source or beam produces a small dose of radiation, it is where these beams intersect that the full dose of radiation is delivered to treat tumors or malformations. The actual Gamma Radiosurgery treatment usually lasts less than 45 minutes, during which time you may feel the treatment bed move to different positions.
Once the Gamma Radiosurgery treatment is complete, the Infini bed will return to the starting position and your treatment team will once again enter the room. The head frame will be removed, and each pin site will have a dressing applied where needed. You will be allowed to drink some water and your family can join you. You will be given instructions for follow up care. As with any radiation treatment, the results are not immediately apparent. Gamma Radiosurgery treatment inhibits lesion growth, and shrinkage often occurs as early as four to six weeks after the procedure. Examinations by your neurosurgeon and imaging studies are part of routine after-treatment care to monitor the status of lesions and abnormalities.
Following are some guidelines for how to prepare yourself for Gamma Radiosurgery. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at 504-891-2173.
You will have an intravenous (IV) line started in your arm. This will allow you to receive medications to help you relax.
For most patients a blood pressure cuff, oxygen monitor and EKG monitor will be attached to monitor vital signs throughout the day.
Before your Gamma Radiosurgery procedure, your doctor will discuss with you any risks and/or side effects you may have with this procedure. Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have before the procedure begins.
Risks are thoroughly explained on your informed consent page. You may resume taking your daily-prescribed medications unless the doctor tells you otherwise.
Should side effects occur, please call your physician at the number provided on your Discharge Instructions.
Your private physician or neurosurgeon can schedule a consult with our physicians by calling us at 504-891-2173.
A family member or close friend should accompany you to the Center the day of your procedure and plan to remain with you the entire day. Your team will keep your family and friends updated on your condition and progress.
The Gamma Radiosurgery Center of New Orleans accepts most insurance plans. If you would like to verify if the center recognizes your specific insurance, please contact our insurance specialists at 317-536-1354.
on the 1st floor of the Buckman Building at 3434 Prytania St. The Buckman is a 4-story, red brick building across the side street (Delachaise) from Touro Infirmary's Emergency Room in the heart of New Orleans' Garden District.
There is a garage attached to the building (entrance from Delachaise St.) although we are not allowed to validate for the garage. Metered parking is available around the building.
Gamma Radiosurgery Center of New Orleans
New Orleans Neuro-Radiosurgery Center, LLC
3434 Prytania Street, Suite 120
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115