NWI's only Gamma Knife and BiPlane Technology located at Methodist Hospitals 

Aug 29

The physicians at Methodist Hospitals realize that the nervous system is one of the body's most important components, and have set up a team dedicated to neurology that uses technology unique to Northwest Indiana.

The Methodist Hospitals' Southlake campus in Merrillville is home to the area's only Gamma Knife. The machine, located in The Center for Advanced Clinical Studies, is most commonly associated with treating brain tumors and other head and neck cancers, said Laurel Valentino, director of neurology clinical services, in a statement.

"The Gamma Knife isn't a knife but a machine that delivers 201 highly focused beams of gamma radiation to the brain lesion or other malformation in the brain," said Dr. Hytham Rifai, medical director of neurosurgery, in a statement. He also said the technology treats facial pain. "It doesn't require any cutting. The patient undergoes just one treatment and goes home the same day."

Methodist Hospitals' Neuroscience Institute consists of not only the Gamma Knife Center, but also the Stroke Center, Spine Care Center, and Multiple Sclerosis Center. It is the only hospital in northwest Indiana with a neurointerventional radiologist on staff. Dr. Mayumi Oka , the neurointerventional radiologist, uses BiPlane Technology in her work, a technology that directly converts X-ray date into three-dimensional digital images.

"The images are much more precise using the BiPlane equipment, and I can see two angles simultaneously," said Dr. Oka.

Neurointervention can be used to treat brain aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation, strokes, stenosis, also known as narrowed vessels, and tumors.

Dr. Oka's unique skills are especially helpful in treating acute strokes. She can use clot removing catheters and the intra-arterial administration of clot dissolving medications that often reverse stroke symptoms, according to a statement from the hospital.

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