Gamma knife surgery

I have to have Gamma Knife surgery on Jan 22nd. I was wondering about recovery. Was your recovery as expected? How long after did you return to work? Any complications, side effects? Comments Please!

I've had 3 Gamma Knife treatments. I was able to schedule all of mine at the beginnings of vacations, so I didn't have to go back to work right away (I'm a teacher).

I had my 2nd one in Dec. 2011 on a Wednesday. Saturday morning, I was finishing my Christmas shopping & mopping floors since my brother had decided he & his new fiancee were coming to visit & called me on Friday to let me know! I probably could have returned to work on Monday if it hadn't been a school holiday.

I had migraines for a couple of days prior to my 3rd GK and they just kept on for several days afterwards. It took me over a week to get back to normal that time. It was summer break, so I was able to stay home & take it easy.

The only real side effect I've had is hair loss. I was told multiple times I wouldn't lose my hair, but I lost patches of hair after my 1st & 3rd GK treatments.

I've also had a craniotomy to clip two aneurysms--GK is a piece of cake compared to a crani!

I got big headaches so took it easy for few weeks. Resumed to normal work then…got cerebral edema as a side effect after few months but that could be just me reacting to the treatment. Everyone’s body reacts to this treatment differently…is what I’ve been told. As for the hair loss is concerned it depends on the location of your Avm. I was told that i won’t hv the hair loss but i did…the patch grew back eventually. Please make sure you r aware of all the possible complications if u r not already …good luck and best wishes

I was never able to return to work after Gamma.

Good Lord! Why did you have to have so many surgeries, if you don't mind me asking. I've never had a migraine and I pray i don't get them now. thank you for your response. Hope all is well w/ you now!

Thank you for your reply. Best wishes to you too.

Hi Stephanie, why weren't you able to return. I know I'm prying but I'm really just trying to learn as much as possible. if you prefer not to answer, I totally respect that. And Thanks for your reply also.

I had my first seizure within 12 hours after Gamma. I lost my drivers licence by month 3. Though I am highly medicated I still have frequent focal partial seizure where I lose my ability to speak completely and I lose the feeling in my right hand/arm, face and leg for extended periods of time. I experience significant pain on the right side of my head daily. I can no longer count well. Reading can be challenging. Speach gets jumbled when I am over tired or stimulated. Attached is a link to my blog.

Hi Deb,

I just had a bad headache for a day or two afterwards.... Not a migraine. I was back to work within a week. I had no side effects at all when it was done. Just the headache. I believe that came from the halo they put on my head. Over all -- It wasn't bad at all. I know I was hungry when I came out of the anesthesia... Ha Ha

You are going to be fine... :)

Thank You Ben! So far that's what i'm getting the most. People getting headaches. iwas starving after my angio and I wanted coffee really bad. It's hard to eat laying down on your side w/ your leg straight. But if that's the worst of it,starving ang getting a headache..I guess I can handle that. Thanks again for your reply. God Bless!

Was anyone’s embolized first? To me that is the scary part. Radiation oncologist won’t do radiation until it is less than 3cm.

Deb--I had 3 of them because my AVM was about 6 cm when I started treatment. I've had about 5 hours total in the machine.

And like others, the halo & the angiogram were the worst part of GK for me--and no coffee and no food until 3 or 4 in the afternoon after getting up at 3:30 a.m. in order to be at the hospital by 5:00 a.m. For 2 of the 3 GK days, I was the last person (out of 3 or 4) to be treated for the day because mine was the most complicated to plan and I needed the most time in the machine.

It has only been 7 months since my last GK treatment. I go back for a checkup in 5 more months to see how much the AVM has shrunk.

I will say, though, that after a bad round of migraines this past summer, they migraines have been very manageable in the past year and a half. I haven't had to take a single sick day so far this school year. That is a record for me!