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Gamma Knife History

Swedish neurosurgeon Dr. Lars Leksell and a colleague, Börje Larsson, developed the first Gamma Knife model in 1968 during their search for a non-invasive modality to treat functional brain disorders. Subsequently, the Gamma Knife was proven to be beneficial in treating brain tumors and arteriovenous abnormalities. Continuing refinement through 1975 resulted in the forerunner of today’s Gamma Knife. In 1987, the Gamma Knife was introduced to the United States.

Over 700,000 patients worldwide have been safely and effectively treated with the Gamma Knife for malignant and benign brain tumors including single and multiple metastases, vascular abnormalities and functional disorders. The Gamma Knife represents one of the most technologically advanced radiosurgical instruments in use today.

The latest and most advanced version of the Leksell Gamma Knife, the Perfexion®, was unveiled in 2006 and became available to the people of the United States in 2007. The Fort Sanders Regional Gamma Knife Center at Thompson Cancer Survival Center became the first hospital in the State of Tennessee to obtain the Gamma Knife Perfexion in December 2011. We are also currently the only Gamma Knife Center in East Tennessee.