What is a Gamma Knife?

Gamma Knife (Leksell Gamma Knife) is a radio surgical installation unit manufactured by a Swedish company Elekta, designed to treatment of paraplasms (benign and malignant tumors and vascular malformations) in a scull cavity. Gamma knife uses radioactive radiation from 201 sources of Cobalt 60, which beams gather together and affect like a non-invasive surgical knife.

 Leksell Gamma Knife    

A modern Gamma knife is a high technology computerized installation unit in which the latest achievements of medical radiology, neurosurgery and robotechnics are used.

Like a neurosurgical operation, a treatment procedure is conducted on a single occasion, however there are no skin cuts and no necessity in craniotomy conduction.

Radiation from 201 sources of Со60  goes through holes in collimating helms to the chosen point. In the process the radiation of every separate beam does not have damaging effect on the brain, but being in the iso center, they make a high total dose enough for tumor death or vascular malfunction obliteration. Navigational accuracy is 0,5 mm and it fully excludes the radiation of healthy brain tissues and the whole body.

Облучение опухолевых клеток установкой Гамма-нож

Under the action of a high radiation dose the destruction of tumor cells DNA takes place, they lose fissility and gradually die. Some tumors totally “diffuse” and disappear, some sustain previous dimensions or reduce and never grow again.

While treating vascular malformations obliteration of pathological angeions takes place and blood flow stops in them. At the same time total elimination of a malfunction from blood flow leads to the total abolition of patient`s disease.

Radiosurgery is considered to be the most prominent achievement in neurosurgery during the past 20 years. Thanks to its reliability, exactness and effectiveness Gamma knife is regarded as the gold standard in radiosurgery.

The first operation with Gamma knife was performed in 1968, since then more around 1000000 patients have been treated. Nowadays there are more than 300 Gamma knife departments in all developed countries in the world.

The effectiveness and safety of treatment are proved by prolonged monitoring (over 50 years) and shown in more than 2000 publications.