What is Gamma Knife® Surgery?

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Gamma Knife® treatment is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a nonsurgical form of radiation therapy that enables highly focused beams of radiation to be targeted directly to the lesion, while protecting surrounding healthy tissue. Stereotactic radiosurgery is an option for many conditions of the brain, head or neck.

Mercy Health utilizes the Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ system to perform stereotactic radiosurgery. But the Gamma Knife® isn’t actually a knife. No incisions are made. Instead, the “knife” refers to 192 individual beams of gamma rays converging into one focal point and precisely targeting the area of the brain that needs to be treated, minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

The treatment is painless and simple and without the normal risks associated with surgery and a long hospital stay. Patients who receive Gamma Knife® treatment are often treated in one session and experience less damage to healthy cells and considerably faster recovery time.

More than 30 years of clinical studies documented in more than 2,900 published medical papers demonstrate the effectiveness of Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. And after more than 1 million surgeries, the Gamma Knife® has shown to provide an extremely good tumor control rate, few side effects and the ability to treat multiple targets effectively.

Benefits of Gamma Knife® Treatment

  • No incisions are made
  • Less damage to surrounding tissue or nearby structures
  • Requires no general anesthesia
  • Usually performed in one session in outpatient setting, eliminating hospital stay
  • Minimal or no patient discomfort, allowing patients to quickly return to normal activities

To learn more about the treatment steps and what to expect, visit the FAQ section.