Precise, Effective, Safe
Today, more and more patients and their surgeons are choosing minimally invasive radiosurgery as the primary approach for the conservative treatment of brain tumors and other brain disorders. Radiosurgery can deliver better patient outcomes at a lower cost when compared to conventional brain surgery.
This web site is designed for both patients and physicians.
The Gamma Knife Center of the Pacific is a resource for information about Gamma
Knife Radiosurgery, brain tumors, patient support groups and treatment options.
Radiosurgery can be used to treat benign and malignant brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and functional disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia and Parkinson's disease. Surgical incisions are not involved, therefore eliminating post-surgical complications. There is no lengthy recuperation, and most patients return to normal activities, even work, within one to three days. Radiosurgery can also be used to treat lesions that previously were either inaccessible or were treated unsuccessfully by other methods.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is especially well-suited for lesions located near delicate structures and deep areas of the brain, where traditional craniotomy is of greater risk. Gamma Knife radiosurgery can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and conventional brain surgery. FDA approved since 1989, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is performed extensively as today's conservative approach for the treatment of various brain disorders.
The Gamma Knife was developed by Professor Lars Leksell of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, together with biophysicist Professor Borje Larsson. Dr. Leksell found that by administering a single dose of irradiation, it was possible to successfully destroy any deep-brain structure without the risk of bleeding or infection. He called this technique 'stereotactic radiosurgery' and defined it to mean the delivery of a single high dose of radiation to a small and critically located intracranial volume without the opening of the skull. The first stereotactic Gamma Knife using cobalt-60 sources was constructed and installed in Stockholm in 1968.
Benefits of the Gamma Knife
The benefits of the Gamma Knife impact all concerned; physicians, patients, hospitals and society as a whole. These benefits are derived from its unique non-invasive nature, minimal hospitalization requirements, affordable cost and impressive long-term results.
Reduced Health Risk
Gamma Knife radiosurgery requires no incision, thereby eliminating the risk of infection associated with open craniotomy. Other risks that are eliminated include potential damage to healthy tissue and adverse reaction to general anesthesia. The Gamma Knife design and advance treatment planning software ensure that only abnormal tissue is treated, minimizing injury to the surrounding healthy brain tissue.
Conventional neurosurgery requires hospitalization and convalescence, rehabilitation and restrictions on physical activity are often necessary. Radiosurgery patients are seldom hospitalized and can resume regular activities within one to two days.
No Hair Loss or Scarring
Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment is specifically designed to protect the patient from diffuse exposure to radiation, avoiding disfigurement and scarring problems associated with neurosurgery.
The optimal treatment plan is selected and evaluated using sophisticated software prior to delivery of treatment. Therefore, patients and their families know what to expect. Data collected worldwide from the experience od other amma Knife Centers combined with sophisticated computer software programs allows us to formulate precise treatment plans with predictable outcomes.
Radiosurgery provides a cost savings of an estimated 20 to 50 percent when compared to conventional surgery.