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Gamma Knife

When would a patient be treated with a Gamma Knife?

The Gamma Knife is used to treat patients with certain brain conditions.

 

Indications

Tumours, vascular abnormalities and functional targets within the brain.

 

Description of Gamma Knife

The Gamma Knife is minimally invasive radiosurgical technology.

 

How does Gamma Knife work?

A head frame is used to ensure utmost accuracy and stillness of the head whilst multiple radiation beams converge on the target treatment area. The level of accuracy is better than 0.5mm allowing a large therapeutic dose to be delivered to the target treatment area whilst sparing surrounding healthy brain tissue.

 

Safety of Gamma Knife

Treatment is safe due to its accuracy. Also, the unwanted radiation dose to the rest of the body is up to 100 times less than that of competing technologies.

 

Average duration of treatment

Treatment is performed on a single day. Sometimes patients require overnight admission to the neurosurgical unit after treatment, but many are treated as day cases. Because of this, Gamma Knife treatment is cheaper than surgery.

Supporting evidence

There is a proven track record. Almost 500,000 patients have been treated worldwide and thousands of peer-reviewed scientific articles have been published 1,2,3.

 

What it's replacing/is it additional?

Gamma Knife treatment is an addition to standard microsurgery and other radiosurgical techniques.

 

Benefits

Few post-treatment complications and rapid recovery. Most patients return to normal activity, even work, within one to three days.

 

Better treatment outcomes for AVMs and acoustic neuromas than with microsurgery. For other pathologies in selected cases outcomes are at least as good as, if not better than, conventional neurosurgery and radiotherapy.

 

Treatment is precise and only requires a single session.

 

NICE status

The Gamma Knife is approved by NICE for stereotactic radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia (IPG 085).


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