Gamma Knife radiosurgery, also called stereotactic radiosurgery, is a very precise form of therapeutic radiology. Even though it is called surgery, a Gamma Knife procedure does not involve actual surgery, nor is the Gamma Knife a knife. It uses beams of highly-focused gamma rays to treat small- to medium-size lesions, usually in the brain. Many beams of gamma radiation join to focus on the lesion under treatment, providing a very intense dose of radiation without a surgical incision or opening.
Gamma Knife treatment is an option for patients with many conditions, such as those below. It may also be used along with conventional surgery, chemotherapy, or other radiation treatments.
|Functional Disorders||Malignant Brain Tumors|
|Benign Brain Tumors||Vascular Disorders
How it Works
Not an actual knife, the Leksell Gamma Knife is an incredibly precise computerized instrument that aims rays of radiation (gamma rays) at brain abnormalities and tumors. It is proven safe and extremely effective.
The Gamma Knife is revolutionary because it focuses a halo of up to 201 individual rays on the target problem, even a target of pinpoint size. Each gamma ray by itself is weak and harmless. But together the focused rays converge with power and precision. A single beam hits the lesion or tumor. Surrounding healthy tissue is spared. The radiation works over time to eliminate or slow the growth or abnormality.
How is the Gamma Knife so precise? A key element is the patented head frame that aims radiation beams with extraordinary accuracy. Using breakthrough science, this frame interfaces seamlessly with MRI, CT scan, or angiography images of your brain. Sophisticated 3D computerization allows our physicians to map the target's size, shape, and location and to calculate exact gamma ray patterns and dosages no matter how irregular the target. Each person's treatment plan is unique.
Because Gamma Knife surgery is noninvasive and does not require anesthesia, the risk of infection, post-operative hemorrhage, and other complications is minimal. The procedure requires only a small amount of local anesthesia for the head-frame fitting. Most patients receive light sedation to relax.
Outpatient Procedure, Fast Recovery
Gamma Knife surgery is one-day, usually outpatient treatment. Occasionally a patient may stay overnight for observation. Most patients return to pre-treatment activities, including work, 24-48 hours later. Usually no physical therapy or rehabilitation is needed. For all of these reasons, radiosurgery is an extremely cost-effective treatment.
Documented outcomes prove the treatment's safety and effectiveness. Clinical studies show that in comparison to other procedures, Gamma Knife radiosurgery typically results in higher success rates, a significantly lower incidence of recurrence of tumors, and reduced risk of serious side effects.
Hours and Location
8:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. Contact your insurance carrier for specific coverage information.