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Medical Edge: Gamma Knife

Updated: Wednesday, February 26 2014, 11:16 AM EST
SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Liz Bonis) -- A young mother with a brain tumor  from West Harrison, Indiana credits a team at Jewish Hospital Mercy Health with saving her life.
 
It's hard to see anything but happiness now in these pictures of Stephanie Hiltz, but shortly after she became a new mom, "I actually was breastfeeding at the time, and had stopped had a son who was about a year old, and after I stopped I kept lactating, I kinda got concerned, is this normal?"
 
Eventually an MRI showed it wasn't normal. Hiltz had surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor, what's called a pituitary adonoma. "It can affect vision, it can also affect hormonal function."
 
A few years later it came back. This time she had a newer option, something that would not only make that tumor go away, but perhaps never return. "It consists of 192 beams of tightly focused radiation which intersect on the tumor, so the tumor gets a high dose and surrounding  brain gets a low dose, it's almost like shrink wrapping a tumor," explains neurosurgeon Dr. Ronald Warnick.
 
That shrink wrap so far has worked. Hiltz's tumor is gone and has not returned. "There's a 90 percent chance that because of the gamma knife, the tumor will reduce its size and never come back."

Stephanie Hiltz says every day you get to see your children grow up is quite a blessing, "definitely, definitely, I say that all the time, I feel very blessed. I am very thankful I had this technology available, and this treatment available to me, and that things turned out the way they did."Medical Edge: Gamma Knife


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