How The Treatment Works
The Gamma Knife treatment takes effect immediately and the results become evident over time. The technology works by altering the DNA structure within the cells of the lesion; the cells are no longer capable of reproducing. Rapidly growing tumors may disappear completely in one to two months. Slower growing lesions take one to two years to demonstrate the desired results.

Results vary depending on the disease or disorder being treated. Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be as effective as conventional neurosurgery in some cases, and more effective and efficient in others.

Four Part Procedure
Gamma Knife surgery is straightforward and is performed in four basic phases...frame fixation, imaging, treatment planning and the treatment itself. Incisions or general anesthesia are not required. The patient remains conscious and may communicate with the surgical team at any time during the procedure. Under normal conditions, the patient can return to their preoperative lifestyle the day after surgery.

  1. The Leksell Stereotactic Coordinate Frame is fixed to the patient's head by adjustable posts and fixation screws. This frame is a reference tool used in conjunction with an imaging procedure providing the basis for establishing target coordinates of the diseased area to be treated.
     
  2. Upon completion of frame fixation, an indicator box, compatible with the imaging modality employed, is attached. A series of images (MRI, CT, angiography) are taken and transferred to the treatment planning system. The target is localized and its x, y and z coordinates are determined.
     
  3. While the patient rests, the Gamma Knife clinical team uses advanced software to determine the optimal treatment plan. This takes one to two hours to complete.
     
  4. Once the individual treatment plan is completed, the patient is placed on the Gamma Knife couch and positioned for treatment. The hydraulic couch moves into position and the treatment begins. There is no noise, and the patient feels nothing. Treatment typically last from 15 minutes to an hour. The couch moves out of the unit at the end of the treatment. This process may be repeated several times with the patient's head in different positions to accomplish complete and precise coverage of the diseased area.

The treatment is completed within a single session, and the doctor maintains constant audio and visual contact with the patient throughout the procedure.

Following radiosurgery, the patient can return to his or her preoperative lifestyles without the need for extended hospitalization or rehabilitation.