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  • Discharge Instructions

  • Neurosurgery 

    Discharge Instructions

    Gamma Knife

    What to Expect

    Almost all people who have had Gamma Knife surgery recover very quickly from the treatment. Most people find that they have a normal energy level and can resume normal activities within 48 hours of the treatment. The areas on your scalp where the pins were inserted will heal in a few days. Hair loss after Gamma Knife treatment only occurs when the abnormality in the brain is near the surface. In these cases the hair loss usually occurs in a small area and will grow back. Many people develop some eye swelling a day or two after Gamma Knife treatment. This is temporary and will go away. Placing a warm, wet facecloth on your eyes 3-4 times a day will help the swelling go away faster.

    Dos and Don'ts

    • You can take a shower and wash your hair the day after Gamma Knife treatment. Remember that the disinfectant used to clean your hair can be irritating to your eyes and you should be careful not to let it get into your eyes.

    • Do not apply creams, lotions or ointments to your pin sites for several days until they have healed. Keeping the sites clean and dry will enable them to heal quickly.

    • Take all medications prescribed for you and do not stop taking them abruptly. If you develop a rash, upset stomach or other problems that may be related to medication, contact us immediately.

    Contact us immediately if:

    • You develop neurological problems such as slurred speech, double vision, weakness of your face or any arm or leg, or have a seizure (convulsion).

    • You develop redness, draining pus or fluid at your pin sites, or develop a high fever or stiff neck.

    The above symptoms are some of the most serious that may arise but do not include all potential post-Gamma Knife problems. When in doubt, it is better to call and ask.

    Whom to Call

    During business hours, Monday through Friday, you should call Beverly Ponte, RN, at 401-444-4204 with any questions. For emergencies after business hours call 401-444-5611 and ask for the neurosurgical resident on call.

    Contact information and follow ups

    One week after your discharge you should call Beverly Ponte, RN, at 401-444-4204 to tell us how you are doing. You should also call your attending physician for any follow-up instructions or visits.

    You will get a letter in the mail telling you when it is time for a follow-up test, such as an MRI scan. You may have these tests anywhere, but if they are done outside of Rhode Island Hospital we will need copies of the films and reports.

    You should also schedule a follow up appointment with your primary care physician. If you do not have a general doctor, you can call the Lifespan Heath Connection at 401-444-4800 for a referral.