If you have a brain tumor or other lesion or disorder of the head or neck, the best person to determine if you are a good candidate for Gamma Knife® radiosurgery is a practicing neurosurgeon who uses the technology. In making a recommendation, the physician will consider the lesion type, size and location.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is safe, accurate and reliable. Since it was first introduced in 1965, more than 350,000 Gamma Knife procedures have been performed worldwide with a very high cure rate for many conditions.
Why is Gamma Knife radiosurgery a good choice?
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is proven to be a highly effective alternative to traditional open surgery. The minimally invasive Gamma Knife can achieve outcomes that are similar to or better than conventional surgery outcomes, and without surgical risks. During the procedure, radiation is delivered to the treatment site with such precision that nearby healthy structures are unharmed. Gamma Knife radiosurgery can even reach many tumors located deep within the brain.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is also a good option when:
- the abnormality is too hard to reach with standard neurosurgery
- the patient isn't healthy enough to undergo conventional surgery
- the patient prefers a minimally invasive surgical procedure
The Gamma Knife is the most advanced device for the minimally invasive treatment of brain tumors and other disorders. With this procedure, no incision is required. The risks of open surgery are avoided, including excessive bleeding, infection and side-effects from anesthesia. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is virtually painless and is usually completed in one session lasting a few hours. Most patients return home the same day and resume their normal life.
What conditions are treated effectively with Gamma Knife radiosurgery?
Gamma Knife radiosurgery can treat:
- metastatic brain tumors
- benign (non-cancerous) brain tumors, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas and pituitary tumors
- malignant (cancerous) brain tumors
- arteriovenous malformations
- functional disorders, such as trigeminal neuralgia
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is effective for small to medium-sized brain tumors. Radiation delivered by the Gamma Knife damages the DNA of abnormal cells so they can no longer reproduce. As a result, the tumor gradually shrinks. If you are receiving chemotherapy for a primary cancer, such as lung cancer, Gamma Knife radiosurgery for a metastatic brain tumor will not disrupt treatment for the primary cancer.
For patients with an acoustic neuroma, Gamma Knife radiosurgery can shrink or stop the neuroma from growing with minimal risk of permanent nerve damage.
For patients with a pituitary tumor, Gamma Knife radiosurgery can shrink the tumor, which may be disrupting the body's ability to regulate critically important pituitary hormone.
For patients with arteriovenous malformation, Gamma Knife radiosurgery can cause the blood vessels involved in the formation to thicken and close off.
For patients with painful trigeminal neuralgia, Gamma Knife radiosurgery forms a lesion that can block the passage of pain signals.