Gamma Knife Center at Sacred Heart
In these pages, you will learn about Gamma Knife surgery for the treatment of brain tumors and other brain disorders.
The primary use of the Gamma Knife is for the treatment of tumors that are deeply located or close to sensitive parts of the brain; it is also used to treat other problems in the brain such as certain movement disorders and malfunctioning veins. The Gamma Knife Center is located at Sacred Heart’s University District hospital and is one of only 200 such centers in the world.
The development and operation of the Gamma Knife Center represents a partnership and alignment of two key specialty areas, neurosurgery and radiation oncology. This partnership is characteristic of the commitment to improve cancer care in our community and is an exciting trend among physicians that signals an enhanced patient experience and increased opportunity for improved clinical outcomes.
The Gamma Knife
The Gamma Knife is a piece of medical equipment that is used to treat brain disorders, mainly tumors, arteriovenous malformations and acoustic neuromas in the brain.
Strictly speaking, the Gamma Knife is not a knife at all. Also, the “surgery” is not surgery in the traditional sense of the word. The Gamma Knife surgeon makes no incisions in the patient’s head. Instead, the surgeon focuses beams of radiation directly and precisely to the treatment area in the brain. The radiation does not affect surrounding healthy brain tissue.
Gamma Knife Surgery
As an alternative to open surgery, Gamma Knife surgery is simple, bloodless, and more or less painless. The patient’s head does not have to be shaved. There are few side effects. Because the doctor makes no incisions, the risk of complications is low. Doctors treat more than 30,000 patients every year worldwide with Gamma Knife surgery.
Treatment is much shorter than traditional surgery. In most cases, treatment is completed in one session of about an hour or less. The patient can usually go home on the day of surgery, compared to a hospital stay of several weeks with traditional surgery. Shorter treatment time and a shorter hospital stay results in a savings in health care costs.