The Leksell Gamma Knife® is an effective, non-invasive alternative or supplemental treatment to traditional brain surgery. This highly sophisticated technology precisely directs focused radiation to specific targets in the brain. Typically performed in a single outpatient treatment session without general anesthesia, this proven stereotactic radiosurgical procedure helps patients avoid incisions, blood loss, scarring, and long hospital stays while minimizing surgical complications.
Conditions Treated with Gamma Knife
For many conditions, Gamma Knife treatment is the most accurate form of stereotactic radiosurgery available. Conditions treated with the Gamma Knife Radiosurgery include:
- Malignant tumors: metastatic tumors (cancer spread to the brain), gliomas, chondrosarcoma
- Benign tumors: acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannomas), meningiomas, pituitary adenomas
- Vascular abnormalities: arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
- Functional disorders: trigeminal neuralgia (also known as tic douloureux or chronic facial pain)
Candidates for Gamma Knife Treatment
Brain tumors and vascular disorders account for the majority of radiosurgical procedures performed today. Radiosurgical treatment provided by the Gamma Knife is effective at controlling tumor growth, and hemorrhaging from vascular malformations. This treatment procedure targets lesions in the brain so exactly that the risk of harming healthy tissue is minimized. In certain cases, Gamma Knife treatment may serve as an adjunct to standard neurosurgical therapy or as the preferred course of treatment when further traditional therapy is not recommended.
Treatment with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is often the preferred alternative for patients who are not candidates for conventional neurosurgery or radiation therapy. It also may be recommended as an additional therapy for individuals who have already undergone surgery, chemotherapy or radiation and require further treatment.
Gamma Knife treatment may also be recommended for patients with the following conditions:
- Tumors or vascular malformations that are surgically inaccessible
- Risk factors that make surgery inadvisable
- Need for an additional dose of radiation following conventional radiation therapy
- Recurrent tumor
- Facial pain
Our multidisciplinary team (including neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, radiation physicists, neuroradiologists, oncologists, neurologists, and nurses) evaluates each patient to determine whether Gamma Knife treatment is the best option. The patient's medical history is reviewed, along with imaging studies and information provided by the patient's physician. If Gamma Knife treatment is not considered appropriate, the team will suggest an alternate treatment option.