Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure that uses highly targeted radiation to treat brain tumors, blood vessel malformations, and nerve conditions.
During the procedure, hundreds of intense gamma rays can be targeted on cells in a tumor or other abnormality, with the goal of damaging and shrinking the mass over time. Gamma Knife radiosurgery also can help close off blood vessels so that an arteriovenous malformation in the brain doesn’t bleed. The procedure can also be used to shrink pituitary tumors and to attempt to stop the growth of acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor in nerves near the inner ear. It can also help resolve trigeminal neuralgia, a disorder that causes disabling face pain. Patients often feel improved results in a period of days or weeks.
About the host: Dr. Yoshua Esquenazi is a UTHealth Houston Neurosciences neurosurgeon and associate professor at the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth. View his presentation on gamma knife radiosurgery.
Gamma Knife Treatment
Gamma Knife radiosurgery can be especially beneficial when a brain tumor is hard to reach with traditional neurosurgery or when a patient is not healthy enough to undergo traditional surgery. Gamma Knife radiosurgery doesn’t require an incision or general anesthesia. Most patients can resume their daily activity within a day or two, depending on their doctor’s advice.
Physicians at UTHealth Houston Neurosciences care for patients using advanced, minimally invasive technologies when appropriate, such as the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon. Patients who benefit from the Icon’s sophisticated software with dose-to-target conformation include those with meningiomas and vestibular schwannomas; arteriovenous malformations; medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia; and metastases. Multiple intracranial metastases can usually be treated in a single outpatient procedure. Since acquiring the region’s first Leksell Gamma Knife® in 1993, UTHealth Houston neurosurgeons have performed more than 5,000 Gamma Knife procedures.
The clinical team works closely with patients and their referring physicians throughout the Gamma Knife treatment process. A neurosurgeon and a radiation oncologist assess each candidate to determine whether radiosurgical treatment is the best option. After an initial review by a radiologist, all MRIs receive a second review by a radiation oncologist and neuro-oncologist to look for any changes that may have occurred with the patient’s metastases. Gamma Knife nurse navigators work directly with patients on scheduling and pretreatment education, and provide support and care on the day of treatment.
At UTHealth Houston Neurosciences, we offer patients access to specialized neurological care at clinics across the greater Houston area. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-8000, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.