Friday, April 8, 2011

Philippine Gamma Knife Center: Another breakthrough on non-invasive brain surgery

In line with the massive medical research for a faster and safer way on brain surgery, the Philippine Gamma Knife opened their center in Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan. The center gives a non-invasive and safer way brain surgery especially those who have brain tumors with the use of high-intensity radiation therapy through the Gamma Knife machine that focuses on the target area without open surgery or affecting the non targeted area. As of now the Philippine Gamma Knife center is the first in the country and one of the 26 countries in the world that administering the said non-invasive brain surgery. The Philippine Gamma Knife Center has a team of fully trained neurosurgeon and radio surgeon that were trained in Sweden where the Gamma Knife was purchased and manufactured

What is Gamma Knife?

Gamma Knife or internationally known as Leksell Gamma Knife, is a machine manufactured a Swedish company named Elektra AB. It was invented by Lars Leksell, a neurosurgeon, and Börje Larsson, a radiobiologist from Sweden's Uppsala University in 1967 at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

The machine contains radioactive cobalt-60 sources which pass through small tunnels in the Collimator helmet. The amount of radioactive dosage was predetermined according to the analysis of radiologist. With the use of stereotatic frame that holds the head before it was placed in the Collimator helmet, it will hold the head of the patient properly as the treatment takes place that runs from 30 mins-2 hours depending on the amount of dosage and the size of the tumor or condition of the patient. Only small amount of radioactive waves will pass in the head of the patient trough his/her brain which will not affect him/her and all the small gamma rays will meet on the targeted area which will have a bigger amount/dosage and kills cancer cells to prevent it from growing.

(Dr. Monserrat Velasquez giving a short background about the Philippine Gamma Knife Center)

Gamma Knife Center in the Philippines

Since it was established in 1998, the Philippine Gamma Knife Center pioneered the Gamma Knife Radiosurgery procedure in the country. It gives the patient an option for a non-invasive brain surgery that was before requires them to travel abroad just to avail it. The procedure that cost from P320K – P550K will give a shorter medical process for patient and safer way than the open surgery that is very common here in the Philippines.

As of now, the Philippine Gamma Knife Center already treated 1774 patients since it was opened. It is a combination of brain tumors, vascular malformations such as an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), and other functional problems that includes deep brain stimulation and severe head pains.

(Registered Nurse Mario Louis Bumatay discussing the framing)

The center was founded and funded by different neurosurgeons and radio surgeons here in the Philippines. Coming from different parts of the country they work together just to bring the machine and to help patients who wanted to have a safer way of treating their case. The doctors of the Philippine Gamma Knife include:

Jaime F. Flor, MD - Cardinal Santos Medical Center (MANILA)
Eduardo R. Mercado, MD - Cardinal Santos Medical Center (MANILA)
Theodor S. Vesagas, MD - Cardinal Santos Medical Center (MANILA)
Daniel L. Ong Kian Koc, MD - Chinese General Hospital (MANILA)
Teodoro L. Tigno, MD - AFP-Medical Center (MANILA)
Camellia J.N. Posoncuy, MD - Manila Doctors Hospital (MANILA)
Alfredo L. Tan, MD - University of the East | Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (MANILA)

Antonio A. Rafael, MD - St. Luke's Medical Center | Capitol Medical Center (MANILA)
Louie C. Racelis, MD - The Medical City (MANILA)
Jose A. Aguilar, MD - Philippine General Hospital (MANILA)
Carmelo C. Canto, MD - Riverside Medical Center ( BACOLOD CITY )
Roderick M. Casis, MD - Sta. Clara de Monte Falco Medical Center (BULACAN)
Wyben R. Briones, MD - Cebu Doctors Hospital | Chong Hua Hospital (CEBU CITY)
Amado V. Layno, MD - Cebu Doctors Hospital | Chong Hua Hospital (CEBU CITY)
Alfredo V. Abundo, MD - San Pedro Hospital | Davao Uptown Clinic (DAVAO CITY)
Ferdinand G. Florendo, MD - Dagupan Doctor - VMMC (DAGUPAN CITY)

(Frame used to hold the head of the patient)

(Pins used for the framing)

The Procedure

Unlike the open brain surgery, the Gamma Knife gives a patient a shorter medical and safer process. For open surgery in gives the patient a minimum of 2 month, which consist of intensive care, hospitalization, and period of recovery, while in Gamma Knife surgery it only takes an hour or two of the treatment and the patient will return to his pre-operative lifestyle in few hours.

(Dr. Ted Vesagas discussing the treatment planning)

(Registered Nurse Mel-Ross Caleda discussing the actual treatment)

The pre-Gamma Knife surgery procedure begins with neuroimaging studies that include MRI and CT scan which the doctors will determine the location and size of the brain tumor, or the dosage to be given to the patient. When the dosage and treatment schedule was finally determined, the patient will be undergo frame fixation, where head frame will be pined to the head of the patient two pins in the forehead and 2 at the back of the head to hold the head of the patient properly and to avoid movements during the radioactive treatment during the placement of the frame the patient will be given anesthesia to prevent pain and discomfort. The patient will know undergo the treatment planning where he/she will be properly rest in the Gamma Knife machine with the Collimator helmet and the actual treatment. In a span of a minimum of 30 minutes to hours the dosage of gamma radioactive will kill the cancer cells in head of patient depending to the size of the tumor or patients medical condition.

(Philippine Gamma Knife Center team registered nurse Mel-Ross Caleda, Medical Physicist Eliseo Dela Cruz, Dr. Monserrat Velasquez, and registered nurse Mario Louis Bumatay)

Gamma Knife reduces the health risk because it doesn’t require incisions that open surgery that usually leads to infection, adverse body reaction and others. It also shortens the period of hospitalization that lessens the cost. For more details about the Philippine Gamma Knife Center visit their website The center is located at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center Compound in Wilson St., Greenhills, San Juan, with telephone number 632 – 7259254, 7237575, 7260776 and email address

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jaylord losgano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaylord losgano said...

Hope anyone help us..
My brother have a Pituitary macro adenoma..
I want to medicate my brother through Gamma knife Surgery but my problem is money we cant afford to go to the doctor for treatment hoping that anyone have a kind heart could help us.. i dont know any foundation to go for help..My brother is 28 years of age and his daughter 3 years old... 09216790336 please inform us i need your help.. email
Jaylord Losgano

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