Jason Sheehan, MD with patient

Gamma Knife

Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses focused radiation to target brain and pituitary tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), acoustic neuromas and other conditions. 

Without using a scalpel or knife, Gamma Knife radiosurgery delivers radiation more accurately than conventional radiation therapy. It creates high-energy beams of radiation strong enough to deactivate even some of the most aggressive tumors.  

Conditions We Treat

A Simple, Painless Procedure

Gamma Knife radiosurgery delivers radiation more accurately than conventional radiation therapy. We often recommend it for brain tumors in hard-to-reach places. View Transcript.

Benefits & Safety

Gamma Knife VS. Traditional Surgery

Avoid these risks of traditional brain surgery:

  • Long hospital stays
  • Lengthy rehabilitation
  • Damage to healthy brain tissue
  • Surgical complications, like hemorrhage, infection and cerebral spinal fluid leak
  • General anesthesia dangers
  • Other physical trauma and disruption of normal brain function

Treatment of Choice

Gamma Knife has long been the treatment of choice for several brain conditions, especially when normal surgery fails or is not an option. Many insurance plans cover Gamma Knife treatment.

Before the Procedure
before Gamma Knife surgery
  • We attach a mesh covering or frame to prevent your head from moving. This allows your neurosurgeon to accurately target the treatment.
  • We determine the exact size, shape and position of the target in your brain.
  • Your doctor develops a precise treatment plan.
during Gamma Knife Surgery
  • You lie down on the treatment couch.
  • The couch moves into the dome section of the unit.
  • The team monitors the procedure at all times.
  • The treatment lasts anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on the size and shape of the target.
after Gamma Knife Surgery
  • If you had an angiogram, you might have to lie quietly for several more hours.
  • You may stay overnight for observation or return home immediately.
  • The effects of your treatment will occur over time. We may evaluate your progress with follow-up MRI, CT or angiography
Gamma Knife Icon Machine

Gamma Knife Icon

We are the first center in Virginia to use Icon, which offers even more accuracy, precision and safety than previous models. This allows for treatment without the head frame required by previous Gamma Knife versions. With Icon, we can now treat patients with:

  • Large tumors
  • Lesions close to critical parts of the brain
  • Abnormal skull anatomy