Gamma Knife Program
Gamma Knife surgery is recognized worldwide as the preferred treatment for selected lesions, tumors and conditions that afflict the body's most important organ: the brain. Supported by more than 2,500 peer-reviewed research articles, Gamma Knife can be used to treat brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations and brain dysfunctions, such as trigeminal neuralgia. The Gamma Knife is noninvasive and is an alternative for many patients for whom traditional brain surgery is not an option because it avoids the physical trauma and most of the risks associated with conventional surgery. The single-session treatment is also usually administered in an outpatient setting with periodic follow-up.
The Gamma Knife Program at Cedars-Sinai brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts from the Outpatient Cancer Center at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Department of Neurosurgery and the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center to provide the finest care available.
Who May Be a Candidate for This Procedure
The Gamma Knife procedure is a noninvasive, nonsurgical alternative to traditional treatments and is designed for brain lesions smaller than four centimeters. Candidates for this safe and effective procedure include patients who:
- have lesions previously thought to be inoperable or inaccessible
- have a high risk for general surgery
- are of advanced age
- are unable to participate in multiple-session treatment
The Gamma Knife can be used to treat a range of lesions, tumors and conditions affecting the brain, including:
- Benign brain tumors, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas and pituitary adenomas
- Primary brain tumors, including hemangiomas, meningiomas, schwannomas, hemangioblastomas, and all forms of cancer that have spread to the brain
- Arteriovenous malformations
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Pineal tumors
Safe and Precise
More than 2,500 peer-reviewed articles support the use of the Gamma Knife surgery. Recognized as painless and effective, the Gamma Knife is accurate to the sub-millimeter level and is one of the most precise radiation instruments available.
Imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) or angiography, is used to determine the exact size, shape and position of the target in the brain. Your physician, in consultation with a team of experts, then plans the treatment, during which 201 precisely focused radioactive beams are directed at the target in the brain. A stereotactic head frame allows the doctor to pinpoint the target to be treated with unparalleled accuracy.
Treatment using the Gamma Knife is painless, accurate and effective. The Gamma Knife is not a knife in the normal sense of the word. No incision is made and none of a patient's hair needs to be cut or shaved. In fact, the Gamma Knife is used in place of surgery. The Gamma Knife is accurate to the sub-millimeter level and is one of the most technically precise radiation instruments available. The shape and dose of the radiation is optimized to hit only the target, without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. Furthermore, treatment is performed in one session and patients can usually return home shortly after treatment.
A Healing Environment
Not only is the technology for the procedure leading edge, the Gamma Knife is in a space designed by one of the nation's leading "healing environment design" interior designers. The spaces is designed to sooth and relax patients to make the experience as non-stressful as possible. Cedars-Sinai is now one of the few centers to offer patients a full spectrum of therapeutic radiation modalities, including gamma knife, x-knife, IMRT and 3-D conformed radiation. As always we strive to give our patients the best treatment possible.
Personalized, Team Centered Approach
A multidisciplinary team of Cedars-Sinai specialists, including neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and physicists collaborate to optimize the patient's treatment. Each case is reviewed by the Gamma Knife Review Board to ensure an optimal treatment plan.
Dedicated oncology nurses remain with the patient from check-in to check-out. After treatment, care remains with the patient's referring physician.
A Patient-Centered Environment
Extraordinary care has been taken to create a stress-free environment. The Center offers:
- Beautifully designed rooms with soothing colors and comfortable lighting
- Private treatment preparation rooms appointed with plasma screen televisions, DVD players, computers with Internet access and windows to the outdoors
- Music CDs may be played in the treatment room during the procedure. Patients may bring their own or choose from the center's collection of relaxing music
- Comfortable seating is provided for guests in the preparation room. A cafeteria is located nearby
- For the convenience of patients who require an MRI the same day as their Gamma Knife procedure, an MRI facility is located adjacent to the Center