Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
The fact is, the Gamma Knife is not really a knife at all, but a non-invasive tool that replaces the scalpel with a focused array of 192 intersecting beams of high-intensity gamma radiation. Hoag Memorial Hospital is one of the first in the nation to have the absolute state-of-the art fully upgraded Gamma Knife Perfexion™. Treatment times are shorter, accuracy is even better than its most accurate predecessor and outcomes will be even better. The Perfexion™ delivers 100 times less radiation to normal tissue than the latest CyberKnife™. Worldwide, there is 10 times more experience with the Gamma Knife than with any other “knock-off.”
The new Gamma Knife Perfexion™
THE HISTORY OF THE PROCEDURE
The Gamma Knife concept originated in Stockholm in 1951, when Dr. Lars Leksell, a prominent neurosurgeon, coined the term “Radiosurgery.” Dr. Leksell was a pioneer in “Stereotaxy,” a procedure which allows the neurosurgeon to locate and reach any point of the brain to within a single millimeter of accuracy, using trigonometry to navigate the brain’s 3-dimensional space.
Consequently, in lieu of performing open surgery on the brain, the neurosurgeon has the ability to precisely focus gamma radiation on a target tumor or vascular malformation. Focused radiation may also be used to treat “functional” disorders such as the tremors resulting from Parkinson’s disease, and the pain syndrome of trigeminal neuralgia.
The photon beams of the Gamma Knife intersect precisely on the target.
HOW THE GAMMA KNIFE WORKS
Contrary to conventional radiation therapy, which must be delivered in small fractions over time (often over as many as six weeks), and in which normal brain tissue is exposed to approximately the same amount of radiation as the tumor target, Gamma Knife radiosurgery employs a greater number of lower level radiation sources (201) arranged in a collimator Helmet. The neurosurgeon intersects these beams on the target.
Each beam is very weak, passing through an area of the brain different from all of the other beams. Thus each beam is safe to normal brain tissue but where they focus is 200 times as powerful as each individual beam.
HOW THE BEAMS ARE DIRECTED
In order to focus the beams precisely and accurately, the patient must be fitted with a painless “stereotactic frame” prior to the MRI and Gamma Knife procedure.
The painless stereotactic frame allows accurate focus. Upon removal, the pinsites are essentially invisible a week later.
The combined effect at the intersection of the beams is 201 times as powerful as each individual beam, and can obliterate tumors and vascular malformations in a single treatment.
THE TRACK RECORD OF GAMMA KNIFE RADIOSURGERY
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is not experimental. The first Gamma Knife treatment was recorded in Sweden in 1968, and since then nearly 20,000 patients per year are being successfully treated worldwide.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery has been performed on American soil since 1987 and by Dr. Duma in Southern California and the East Coast since 1990. He has performed approximately 220 Gamma Knife procedures per year since that time. The medical literature is replete with hundreds of articles relating to Gamma Knife radiosurgery that is considered the “gold standard” of radiosurgical technique.
If you wish to make a consultation appointment with Dr. Duma, or for further information regarding Gamma Knife radiosurgery in Los Angeles, please register on our website. Also, you can reach us at 949-642-6787.
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