Skip Navigation

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: Day of Treatment

Your care team will make sure you’re prepared for treatment and can answer any questions you may have. Here is an overview of what will happen on the day of your Gamma Knife procedure. 

Before you arrive 

Preparing for treatment is similar to preparing for your mask-fitting appointment. To get ready for your procedure, you should: 

  • Take all your medicines as you normally do
  • Avoid wearing any jewelry or makeup
  • Eat a light meal the morning of your appointment
  • Wear comfortable clothing that does not have a hood or collar
  • Remove any facial hair such as beards, mustaches or goatees
  • Avoid wearing clips, pins, bands, braids, wigs or other hair accessories 
  • Avoid using any hair products such as hairspray or gel 
  • Let your doctor or Gamma Knife coordinator know if you’re uncomfortable with tight spaces 

A family member or friend will need to go with you on the day of your Gamma Knife procedure and drive you home after the treatment.

Radiosurgery treatment process

When you arrive, your care team will bring you back to the Gamma Knife treatment room to begin the treatment process. Visitors are not allowed in the treatment room. 

Here’s what to expect: 

  • The care team will help you lay down on the Gamma Knife machine in the same position you were in when you had your mask fitting. 
  • Your custom mask will be secured in place to help make sure your head does not move during treatment. A small reflective disc will be placed on your nose to detect movement. If you move during treatment, the radiation will stop automatically. It will start again once you’re back in position.
  • If desired, you can choose your favorite music to listen to during your treatment. 
  • The treatment team will go into another room. You will be able to hear your treatment team as they update you on your progress. They will watch you on a camera and can stop the treatment if needed.
  • You will have a scan on the Gamma Knife machine to check your position in the mask. 
  • Once the scan is complete, the table you are lying on will move into the Gamma Knife machine. Then, your treatment will begin. 
  • You will not be able to feel the radiation. the placement of the treatment mask should not cause any pain. There are holes in the mask that allow you to breathe freely, and your nose won’t be covered at all. 

Once your session is complete, your mask will be removed. You can go home as soon as your care team says that it’s OK, typically right after treatment.