Radiosurgery: How It Works
Gamma Knife radiosurgery delivers radiation more accurately than conventional radiation therapy. It creates high-energy beams of radiation strong enough to deactivate even the most aggressive tumors.
Gamma Knife also reduces the risk of damage to healthy areas of the brain. We often recommend it for brain tumors in hard-to-reach places.
Gamma Knife Procedure
Watch this video to see what happens during the Gamma Knife procedure. View Gamma Knife Center transcript.
The procedure is simple and painless.
We attach a mesh covering or frame to prevent your head from moving. This helps us accurately target the treatment.
We determine the exact size, shape and position of the target in your brain. You'll have MRI, CT or angiography scans.
3. Treatment Planning
Your doctor uses your scans to develop a precise treatment plan. No two treatment plans are alike.
When treatment starts:
- 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.
During the treatment, you can:
- Stay awake
- Talk to the doctor or nurse
- Listen to music
5. After the Treatment: Recovery Time
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. However, you should be able to return to your normal routine in a day or so.
The effects of your treatment will occur over time — a period of weeks or months. We may evaluate your progress with follow-up scans.