How long after Gamma ray do most people develop brain swelling, etc.?

Hi there,

I have been pretty silent on here for quite some time. Our son is doing overall very well since treatment. It has now been 4 months and I am wondering if people do have brain swelling or other side effects, when does it usually begin? If those of you who have been through that sort of thing could help give us a general idea of what to look for and a round about figure of when, that would be great. Barb

Hi Barb! My daughter has had 2 Gamma Knife procedures with no side effects. Her 3rd radiosurgery was Linear Accelerator in May of 09 and has had problems ever since. She suffered from her 1st grand mal seizure 6 weeks after LINAC and has had 2 more grand mals since and is on and off steriods to control brain swelling. Every person is different as thier case is different as the size and location are a big factor. We are hoping this last round of radiosurgery does the job and rids her of this condition. Alot of people don’t experience any side effects from Gamma K but in my daughter’s case, the GK scared the orginal location of her AVM but another one formed at the same time. Good luck to you and your family as this site is a great asset to all of us!

Kim McDermott

I have had 3 embolizations the past two years, and after the last embolization my neruosurgeon told me he couldn’t do any more embolizations and has referred me to the gamma knife people.

The hair on one side of my head has fallen out, so I am concerned about further radiation for the AVM. Fortunately I have never had a bleed and my symptoms have been headaches and swooshing noise inside my head.

After reading some of the posts relating to the after effects of the gamma knife, I am hesitant to consider the procedure. Are there any good reports? I go in for consultation next week. I was told by my neurosurgeon there is the possibility of a regrowth of the AVM after the gamma knife.

hi barb,
i had gamma in march 08 and an mri in feb 09 showed significant swelling although my doctor just said that that was the radiation doing its job. when i had my angio in feb 10 they didnt say anything about the swelling so i believe it went down. i dont believe that brain swelling is a major concern as it is pretty inevitable that it will happen bc of the trauma but it usually is not a problem. i did have some major headaches in the year after my gamma but that may have been from the avm killing itself, not the swelling