The Gamma Knife machine uses 192 beams of targeted radiation to treat brain tumors.
The Gamma Knife is not actually a knife at all.
It is an advanced piece of equipment used to treat tumors and other abnormalities in the brain without an incision and with minimal
effect on surrounding healthy tissue. For patients whose age or medical condition rules out surgery, the Gamma Knife can be a lifesaving tool.
The Gamma Knife works by focusing 192 beams of precisely targeted radiation on malignant or benign tumors that cannot be reached through surgery, are multiple in number or are resistant to other forms of radiation therapy. Gamma Knife treatment is highly effective for smaller brain lesions and those that are near critical structures in the head, such as the brain stem and cranial nerves.
Gamma Knife procedures typically are performed on an outpatient basis, significantly reducing hospital stays and costs. Another benefit is fewer complications. Because this outpatient treatment is minimally invasive, most patients can resume normal activities the day after their procedure.
The Gamma Knife used to treat Siteman Cancer Center patients is operated through an agreement between HealthSouth and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in partnership with Washington University School of Medicine. It is the only Gamma Knife program in the St. Louis area.
For more information about Gamma Knife treatment at Siteman, visit the Gamma Knife of St. Louis website.