How Gamma Knife Surgery Destroys Brain Tumors

Gamma Knife surgery is “stereotactic radiosurgery.” It uses 3-D positioning tools—a head frame and treatment-planning software—to deliver a precise, targeted dose of radiation to kill brain tumors or create lesions that control other brain disorders.

The head frame not only immobilizes the patient’s head during treatment, it provides a 3-D reference, visible on imaging equipment, to help surgeons pinpoint the treatment target. Precise hair-width radiation beams from the Gamma Knife machine are delivered to the target. Each beam is too weak to damage tissue by itself, but when beams intersect at the target, the combined radiation damages diseased tissue, while minimizing radiation to healthy tissue.

Minimizing radiation is important for everyone, but especially for cancer patients who are receiving other radiotherapy treatments — or even chemotherapy, with which full-brain radiation could be toxic. Patients with metastatic brain tumors can have Gamma Knife treatment concurrently with treatments for their primary cancer.

Because Gamma Knife is so accurate, patients can receive a full dose of radiation in one visit. There is no need for multiple visits, as with linear accelerator (linac) treatments.

Gamma Knife surgery takes only a few hours, but the results unfold over several weeks or months.

Refer a Patient 

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Call 866-713-3228 to request an appointment.

Out of Town

Call 866-713-3228 to ask us to review patient images and recommend treatment options.
Email images to Darrell Sloan (dsloan@wakehalth.edu) or Lisa Wilkins (lwilkin@wakehealth.edu). 

Quick Reference

Gamma Knife
Refer a Patient

866-713-3228

For review of patient images and treatment option recommendations:

Call 866-713-3228

Send images to:

Darrell Sloan
dsloan@wakehealth.edu
Lisa Wilkins
liwilkin@wakehealth.edu

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Last Updated: 08-29-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.