How the Gamma Knife Works:
Extraordinary Precision The Leksell Gamma Knife® is a radiosurgical device that enables doctors to treat deep-seated intracrancial lesions without the risk of open-skull surgery. The “blades” of the Gamma Knife are beams of gamma radiation, programmed to bombard the lesion only at the precise point of intersection. Independently, these beams pass harmlessly through the skull and surrounding tissue. The Gamma Knife destroys its target—and only its target—by delivering 201 tiny, but powerful, beams of intersecting radiation through a collimator helmet attached to a stereotactic headframe. The goal of Gamma Knife radiosurgery is not to remove the lesion, but to arrest its growth. Gamma radiation works by “deranging” molecules in tumor cells, so they stop duplicating and eventually die.
The clear advantages of Gamma Knife radiosurgery
In addition to its very high success rate, Gamma Knife radiosurgery offers several distinct advantages:
Extraordinary Precision: a high dose of radiation is focused at a precise target, with minimal risk to adjacent tissues and structures.
Noninvasive: No surgical risks, such as infection
Minimal Discomfort: Patient may be lightly sedated but is awake throughout the entire procedure. (Children are sedated.)
Short Hospital Stay: At most, an overnight admission is required.
Prompt Recovery: Rarely are more that two or three days required for recovery.
Economical: Gamma Knife surgery often costs 25%-30% less than conventional, open-skull neurosurgery.