Gamma Knife & Radiosurgery Center
At a Glance: Our Gamma Knife and Radiosurgery Center
At our Gamma Knife and Radiosurgery Center at Barrow, we look to two highly specialized radiosurgery systems—the Gamma Knife and Cyberknife—that offer some of the safest and most effective alternatives to surgery for a subset of brain disorders.
Radiosurgery is the practice of using precisely aimed radiation beams to destroy tumors and lesions in the body. Yet radiosurgery does not remove a tumor or lesion; instead, it damages the DNA of the tumor cells, so that the cells lose their ability to reproduce. In arteriovenous malformations (AVM), radiosurgery causes the tangle of blood vessels in the brain to thicken, then close off.
To request an appointment with a radiosurgery specialist, please call (602) 406-6761.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
The Gamma Knife is a radiosurgery treatment used to destroy abnormal tissue without the need for an incision or surgery. Here, radiation beams are focused on a precise area of tissue and are only lethal to cells within the immediate vicinity.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery can be used to treat benign tumors, malignant tumors, vascular abnormalities, and functional disorders, like trigeminal neuralgia. These conditions are able to be managed noninvasively, allowing patients to go home the same day as treatment without the pain and risk of complications associated with traditional surgery.
The Gamma Knife can only be used to treat lesions in the head and involves attaching a metal frame to the skull to accurately target beams of radiation. Treatment can last anywhere from 15 minutes to four hours, but it’s not painful, and anesthesia is used while the frame is being attached.
Cyberknife is also form of radiosurgery that delivers focused beams of radiation to tumors without the need for an incision or surgery. Its technology uses image-guided robotics to deliver surgically precise radiation to destroy intracranial and extracranial lesions, like spinal and soft tissue tumors. Cyberknife beams converge on the tumor and destroy it while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. Cyberknife makes previously unreachable tumors accessible.
Through a combination of robotics and advanced image guidance to target tumors, it’s suited for many patients otherwise diagnosed as inoperable and is most often used for malignant and benign tumors throughout the body, as well as vascular abnormalities. And because the Cyberknife can treat tumors anywhere in the body, this eliminates the need for the metal frame attached to the skull during other forms of radiosurgery, like the Gamma Knife.