What Happens After Gamma Knife Treatment?

Doctor shaking hand with a patient, isolated backgroundMost people have an idea of what to expect after having regular surgery—time in the hospital, pain, and significant downtime. But Gamma Knife brain tumor treatment is different, so you may want to familiarize yourself with this post-treatment timeline.


The Day of Gamma Knife Surgery

Following Gamma Knife treatment, the headframe to help ensure precision accuracy during the procedure will be removed, and the pin sites will be cleaned and covered. Patients then typically spend around an hour in the post-operative area of our Gamma Knife center for observation prior to going home. You can resume eating and drinking immediately after Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery.

If patients have any side effects, they are typically mild and short lasting. You may experience a headache or nausea the day of your procedure. These side effects can be managed with over-the-counter or, if necessary, prescription medications. You also may feel numbness or a tingling sensation in your head. Your Gamma Knife treatment team will provide you with detailed verbal and written discharge instructions to address any potential side effects.


One to Two Days After Gamma Knife Surgery

Many patients return to work one to two days following Gamma Knife radiosurgery, or you may choose to take it easy for a couple of days. You may experience headache, nausea, fatigue or irritation at the pin sites in the days after the procedure. The pin sites typically heal on their own. They do not need to remain covered past the day of your treatment. You may shower or bathe as usual.

Inform your doctor if any of your side effects persist or get worse.


In the Weeks Following Gamma Knife Surgery

Some patients report immediate relief from their tumor-related symptoms following Gamma Knife therapy. However, most patients will notice their symptoms subside gradually over the coming weeks, months or sometimes years.

You will have follow-up visits per your Rocky Mountain Gamma Knife Center physician in the weeks following your procedure to assess your symptoms and the tumor response. Your Gamma Knife physician will also advise you regarding frequency of future MRIs and/or CT scans. The majority of patients need only one Gamma Knife treatment, but your physician may recommend a repeat procedure if necessary.


Read more on the possible side effects of Gamma Knife and when to call your doctor.


Schedule a Phone Consultation

Fill out this form to request a phone consultation with one of our nurse specialists to discuss your situation and whether you are a candidate for treatment.