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The Gamma Knife is a safe, non-invasive, technologically advanced device for treating deep-seated brain tumors and an increasing number of conditions without incisions and with little or no pain. At the Department of Neurological Surgery, Gamma Knife treatment is offered as part of a full set of precision radiation therapy techniques.

The Gamma Knife is a safe, non-invasive, technologically advanced device for treating deep-seated brain tumors (for example, acoustic neuroma, meningioma, pituitary tumors, pineal tumors, metastases, glial and astrocytic tumors, skull base tumors, and other benign and malignant tumors), arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and neurological disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia and Parkinson’s disease. Using the Gamma Knife, an increasing number of conditions—including those that were once considered inoperable and those for which other therapies are ineffective—can often be successfully treated without incisions and with little or no pain.

The Gamma Knife is not a knife, but rather a highly developed treatment system, capable of directing up to 201 beams of gamma radiation to converge, with pinpoint accuracy, on a targeted abnormality within the brain. When concentrated, the rays provide enough radiation to treat the diseased area effectively, while the low intensity of each individual beam ensures the safety of the surrounding healthy brain tissue. Treatment usually consists of a series of exposures, each lasting approximately 10 minutes. Patients experience little or no discomfort; most are able to go home within a day. The Gamma Knife’s precision makes it appropriate for both pediatric and adult patients.

At the Department of Neurosurgery, Gamma Knife treatment is offered as part of a full spectrum of precision radiation therapy techniques. A team of neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists, with specialized expertise in Gamma Knife treatment and other techniques, collaborates to determine the best approach for each patient. More than 2500 patients have been successfully treated with the Gamma Knife to date. Studies consistently demonstrate that experienced surgeons and interventional radiologists at neuroscience centers of excellence achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

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