← Return to Stereotactic Radiosurgery Surgery (Gamma or Cyberknife) for Meningioma

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Hi Joan, I don't think I was told to use any kind of special shampoo the night before and I didn't cover my hair going to the hospital. My husband and I were staying in a hotel directly across the street from the hospital and we just walked to it the morning of the procedure. I had to be there at 5am and we were there until around 7pm in the evening. Four other patients were having gamma knife the same day and I was the last one to get in the machine. Because of the unusual shape of one of my tumors, I had to be in the machine for about 2 1/2 hours. When it was all over that evening, other than a headache, I felt fine so we just walked back to the hotel. I am very claustrophobic also. I have found when I have an mri, it is extremely helpful when they put a mirror above my head that is angled so you can see out through the end of the machine where your feet are. The mri I had the morning of gamma knife was only about 15 minutes. It was much faster than the usual brain mri. One of the first things the nurse did when I got there was give me a very mild sedative. It did not make me feel sleepy at all but maybe a little more relaxed. I did not wear the mask; just a head frame that was attached with 4 tiny pins. Two in my forehead and 2 in the back of my head. They gave me an injection first in each pin site to numb my head that was uncomfortable but the discomfort literally only lasted a few seconds. The numbing starts right away so then I didn't feel them putting the frame on at all. It fit very tight, so it just felt tight and like pressure on my head throughout the day. I did not feel claustrophobic in the gamma knife machine, even though I couldn't move my head because the frame on your head is attached to the machine. The gamma knife machine is taller than an mri machine and other than the frame on my head, there was nothing over my face so I didn't feel closed in. Actually, I remember just feeling bored because I had to lie there wide awake for 2 1/2 hours. When you are in the machine, you don't feel anything at all and it's very quiet. There is no clanging that you hear when having an mri. They played music but it still seemed like a long time and I couldn't tell how much time had gone by. If I ever need gamma knife again for such a long time, I will ask to be sedated so I can doze during it. My first meningioma in 2001 was rather large. It was 5 cm which is about the size of a small orange. The two tumors I had gamma knife on were small. One was fairly round, about 8mm. The left one was very elongated, not round, 5.5 x 10 x 11mm. It went from behind my eye to behind the top of my nose.
Please feel free to respond if you have more questions. If not, please let me know how you are doing after you have the procedure. My Best, Jill

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Replies to "Hi Joan, I don't think I was told to use any kind of special shampoo the..."

Hi Jill, Thank you for explaining what happened during your Gamma surgery. It makes me feel calmer knowing exactly what is done. It sounds like a procedure that I will be able to handle. I have asked for sedation during the gamma procedure but the nurse said I probably won't be able to have anything. Knowing you are claustrophobic too and was able to handle the gamma machine really helps me. My meningioma is 2cm and has a tail but I don't know exactly how long. I saw my cardiologist yesterday and he is surprised that I am to take my blood thinner- eloquis the morning of the procedure. I am newly diagnosed with AFIB. Did you have much bleeding at the sites of the pins? I have a low IgG and IgM-low immune- system and they will be giving me antibiotics. I guess because of the pins. I see my lung Dr. today and will ask him about sedation as I have sleep apnea and I won't have my CPAC. I probably shouldn't worry but anything with the brain is scary. The nurse is supposed to call today to review the procedure but hearing from someone who has been through it, really helps. Thank you so much.