Gamma Knife treats patients with a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery, a noninvasive method of treating brain tumors and lesions with precisely targeted, high-dose radiation. Gamma Knife is an advanced radiosurgery treatment system that utilizes a patented head frame to aim multiple radiation beams to targeted abnormalities in the brain. The technology employs 3-D computerization, which allows physicians to map the size, shape and location of a tumor in order to calculate exact gamma ray patterns and dosages unique to each patient. Although the name may invoke images of knives and scalpels, Gamma Knife treatment doesn’t require surgery, so there’s no cutting and only local anesthesia involved.
Gamma Knife is considered by many to be the “gold standard” of stereotactic radiosurgery for brain tumors and lesions. The pinpoint accuracy of the Gamma Knife system allows physicians to deliver high doses of radiation to difficult-to-reach tumors that may have been impossible to treat in the past. Due to the unique targeting capabilities of the Gamma Knife, healthy tissue surrounding a tumor site is spared during treatment. Generally, Gamma Knife treatment is a one-day, outpatient procedure, including all imaging, treatment planning, treatment delivery and recovery.
Globally, more than half a million people have been treated with Gamma Knife. It has been used for decades to treat brain tumors and brain disorders.