The technology is complex, the results – astonishing.

The most accurate, most advanced version of Gamma Knife radiosurgery is now available to patients through the Gamma Knife Center at Methodist Hospital. The Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ dramatically increases the precision of radiation delivery to the affected area, expands the treatment range to include lesions in the base of the skull and shortens treatment time while improving comfort for patients. The Gamma Knife Center at Methodist Hospital is working to make the term “inoperable” obsolete. Today, treating even the most difficult to reach tumors in the brain and neck is possible, without conventional surgery and without a scalpel.

After locating tumors with the most powerful and accurate MRI available today, specially trained surgeons and radiation oncologists focus beams of radiation from the Gamma Knife directly on the affected area, leaving surrounding tissue untouched. Patients are able to return home the same day and resume their pre-surgical activities within days. To date, more than 1,700 patients have been treated at The Gamma Knife Center at Methodist Hospital.

For more information about this procedure, a physician referral or a personal consultation, please call the Gamma Knife Center at Methodist Hospital at 210-575-6575, or toll-free 1-866-280-0304.

What is Gamma Knife?

As a non-invasive treatment for individuals with well-defined patient profiles, including those who have benign and malignant brain tumors, vascular abnormalities and trigeminal neuralgia, Gamma Knife surgery offers a low-risk, safe and cost-effective alternative.

The Gamma Knife is a stereotactic radiosurgical instrument that delivers a single high dose of precisely focused radiation, through the intact skull, to a small and critically located intracranial volume. With pinpoint accuracy, 192 beams of cobalt-60 radiation arrest or reduce tissue growth by distorting the DNA mapping of the cells. Due to the pinpoint precision, healthy tissue is spared.

Combined with an advanced MRI scanner capable of detecting the subtlest of abnormalities, tumor treatments can be mapped and performed with amazing accuracy on even the smallest tumors, noninvasively and with minimal effect to surrounding tissue. Patients return home the same day and resume pre-surgical activities within days.

  • The Gamma Knife is covered by most insurance companies
  • Avoids risks and complications of traditional surgery
  • Typically a single treatment is all that is needed
  • More cost-effective than traditional surgery
  • Patient’s hospital stay is 70 to 90 percent shorter than with conventional surgery
  • Meets safety standards of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Non-invasive treatment; no scarring or disfigurement
  • No injury to normal tissue
  • Few side effects: mild nausea or headache may occur
  • Short recovery period: return to pre-surgical activities within days of treatment
  • Radiation dose only on the targeted lesion

The Gamma Knife was developed in Sweden in 1968 by Dr. Lars Leksell and a colleague, exclusively for the treatment of brain disorders. Thousands of people worldwide have been safely and effectively treated with the Gamma Knife for benign and malignant brain tumors, vascular abnormalities and functional disorders. The Gamma Knife represents one of the most technologically advanced surgical instruments in use today.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is effective in treating some types of tumors, including:

  • Malignant: Gliomas, Astrocytoma
  • Benign: Acoustic, Meningioma, Pituitary
  • Metastatic: Breast, Lung, Renal, Melanoma

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is Effective in treating brain tumors. Below are some types of tumors that are commonly treated with Gamma Knife:

  • Malignant: gliomas, astrocytoma
  • Benign: acoustic, meningioma, pituitary
  • Metastatic: breast, lung, renal, melanom

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is effective in treating Arteriorvenour Malformations (AVMS). Radiosurgery can offer a less invasive option with less risk of neurological injury.

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is also effective in treating Trigeminal Neuralgia and offers hope to patients with severe facial pain with a treatment that typically lasts under 30 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions