Facts About Gamma Knife

Gamma Knife IconIn the 11 years since Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center began offering Gamma Knife® services, we have provided treatment to more than 1,400 patients for brain tumors and other neurological disorders.

Gamma Knife is a stereotactic radiosurgical device that’s highly regarded in the medical community for its ability to treat malignant and benign tumors of the brain. Here’s a closer look at this life-saving technology:

It’s not really a knife.

There’s no cutting involved with Gamma Knife, there’s no need for anesthesia and it is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Gamma Knife works by targeting radiation energy straight through the skull and into brain tumors.

It’s more accurate.

During treatment, up to 192 low-intensity radiation beams are precisely delivered to their intended target, so the radiation can destroy a tumor without damaging the surrounding, healthy tissue. Patients can receive treatment and go home immediately after resuming most normal activities right away.

It’s not just for brain tumors.

Because of the targeting accuracy of the radiation, Gamma Knife can be used to target troubled areas besides tumors of the brain. Gamma Knife has been successfully used for other brain disorders, non-cancerous tumors of the pituitary gland, tumors of the ear or eye nerves, and malformations of the blood vessels in the brain.

It can multitask.

Some would say this is the greatest benefit to using the Gamma Knife, with its ability to treat as many as 15 to 20 tumors at a time in a single or multiple sessions.

The Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™, Fort Sanders Regional’s new Gamma Knife technology, is designed to allow treatment of multiple metastatic brain tumors developed from primary cancers outside the brain such as lung, breast, ovarian, colorectal, kidney and melanoma.

It’s a safer option.

The Gamma Knife is much safer than other radiosurgical tools for brain tumors because it doesn’t expose the rest of the brain or body to radiation. The increased accuracy can also prevent bleeding and brain damage of healthy tissue that can happen in a traditional brain surgery.

The minimally invasive Gamma Knife provides effective treatment in a shorter amount of time.

For more information about the Fort Sanders Gamma Knife Center, call 865-331-4000 or visit FSRegional.com/Gamma-Knife-Center

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