What is Gamma Knife radiosurgery?
The Leksell Gamma Knife® is the gold standard for non-surgically treating
many serious neurological disorders located in the head and neck, including:
- malignant tumors
- metastatic brain tumors
- benign brain tumors, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas and pituitary tumors
- arteriovenous malformations
- trigeminal neuralgia
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is the most precise tool for radiosurgery. It
effectively treats some conditions of the head and neck that were previously
The Gamma Knife is not a knife at all. Instead, it uses highly focused
beams of cobalt-60 gamma rays to stop the growth of many small to medium-sized
tumors and other abnormalities. In many cases, the deformities will shrink
over time after Gamma Knife neurosurgery. Designed specifically to treat
brain disorders, the Gamma Knife has been in use for more than 40 years
and has treated more than 350,000 patients safely and effectively. Since
it was developed, there have been many enhancements to the Gamma Knife
technology, with extensive research and documentation to verify its safety
Advanced Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery is often a good alternative
to traditional open surgery and conventional whole-brain radiosurgery.
It is also an excellent treatment option when tumors or lesions cannot
be reached through conventional surgery or the patient's overall condition
can't tolerate surgery.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery delivers the benefits of minimally invasive surgery
The powerful Gamma Knife is recognized worldwide as the ultimate tool for
minimally invasive stereotactic radiosurgery. Usually performed during
a single outpatient session, Gamma Knife radiosurgery avoids many risks
of open surgery, including excessive bleeding and infection. The nearly
painless Gamma Knife procedure is safe and comfortable for patients. This
eliminates the need for general anesthesia and its possible side effects.
Most patients can go home just few hours after treatment and return to
their normal activities.
How does Gamma Knife radiosurgery work?
The Gamma Knife delivers extremely focused beams of cobalt radiation to
precise targets in the brain, head or neck. During Gamma Knife radiosurgery,
up to 200 radiation beams converge on the target with a level of accuracy
better than half a millimeter, or 1/50th of an inch—the thickness
of a strand of hair. Meanwhile, nearby healthy tissue is undamaged. The
cumulative effect of the radiation is high. But, each individual beam
has low intensity, so tissue the beam passes through on the way to the
target is not affected.
At a Gamma Knife center, a team of experts develops an individualized treatment
plan based on detailed, 3-D images of the patient's brain captured
through computerized technology and diagnostic imaging. The treatment
team includes a neurosurgeon, a radiation oncologist and a medical physicist.
Treatment can take a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the type
and location of the abnormality.