Gamma Knife Bloodless Brain Surgery

Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery is an advanced technology which allows brain surgery to be performed with a brief hospital stay, reduced pain, shorter recovery period and no incisions.

Technology and History

The Gamma Knife uses radioactive cobalt-60 as its source of gamma rays. During the Gamma Knife procedure, the patient lies on a treatment couch and the physician positions the patient’s head within a metal helmet called a collimator helmet. This helmet contains 201 small openings through which the radioactive sources are focused simultaneously at their small target within the brain. The size of the target can be varied depending on the size of the openings in the helmet. By using stereotactic techniques and computer technology, a high radiation dose can be delivered to a target of almost any shape. Each of the individual beams provides a relatively small, harmless dose of radiation. Only at the point where the beams converge is the radiation at its most powerful and tissue destroyed. Thus, the Gamma Knife prevents injury to surrounding healthy tissue.

Gamma Knife technology was first used by Dr. Lars Leksell in Stockholm, Sweden in 1968. Today, there are more than 11,000 medical publications documenting the success of Gamma Knife radiosurgery. More than 600,000 individuals have benefited by such treatments, and there are over 193 Gamma Knife centers around the world. The NJ Neuroscience Institute is one of 86 of the largest and most prestigious institutes in the country to offer this advanced treatment option.