First Gamma Knife facility in public sector inaugurated in Karachi

Ali OusatWeb Editor

08th Oct, 2021. 09:46 am

KARACHI: The first Gamma Knife facility, recently inaugurated by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah at the Dow University Hospital, in Karachi is now fully operative and ready to treat lesions in the human brain free of cost for needy patients.

Gamma Knife surgery department head Dr Muhammad Abid Saleem, speaking to Bol News on Thursday said: “Gamma knife surgery is a method that uses radiation and a computer-guided planning to treat brain tumours, vascular malformations, and other abnormalities in the brain.”

He said that the Gamma Knife was helpful for patients who had developed brain tumour that could not be treated by traditional surgery techniques or if the patient was unable to undergo surgery due to severe illness or age.

“The procedure does not involve any incision, it is actually a procedure that delivers beams of highly focused radiation,” commented Dr Saleem.

He further said that the surgery treated several brain disorders, such as brain tumours, acoustic neuromas, arteriovenous malformations, tremors, brain metastases, craniopharyngioumas, gliomas, meningiomas, pineal tumours, pituitary tumours, skull base tumours, trigeminal neuralgia, vascular malformations, glomus jugulars.

“A box-shaped head frame is positioned on the head which is made of aluminium and weighs less than one pound,” he remarked.

He further added that in some cases, frameless Gamma Knife systems were being used as thermoplastic mask to be placed over the face and then secured to an existing frame on the Gamma Knife table.

Dr Amjad Shahani, a doctor at the same facility while talking to Bol News further added that Gamma Knife was a highly effective treatment with minimal or no associated adverse effects, because of its ability to stabilize or reduce the size of a tumour or lesion. Often only one treatment is required; however, occasionally Gamma Knife could be repeated safely and successfully, he added.

He further said that there were many benefits of Gamma Knife surgery over traditional surgery such as incisions or general anesthesia was not required.

He pointed out that it could target tumours/lesions deep in the brain that otherwise could not be safely reached by traditional surgery. It could also target multiple tumours/lesions at the same time avoiding other risks and complications of surgery (such as bleeding and infection from incisions), limiting the damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Moreover, he said that usually performed as an outpatient procedure (rarely requires an overnight stay), it allows patients to return to usual activities in a day or two without physical therapy or other rehabilitation.

The doctor has further requested the philanthropists in society to come forward to help deserving persons and also appealed to Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal to support the facility as well, so that marginalized people could benefit from the state of the art facility.

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