Gamma Knife Procedure

Hello readers, Ramin Rak here with yet another blog post about a complex neurosurgical method that I have used to treat patients.

Gamma Knife is a procedure, like the CyberKnife System, that allows doctors like me to treat tumors and ailments without having to resort to surgery. Gamma Knife surgery was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) thirty years ago and I am one of the few New York area neurosurgeons certified in this technique.

When I use Gamma Knife procedures for a patient, I can deliver over 200 beams of radiation right to the tumors and lesions.

Unlike with traditional radiation, patients do not experience the regular side effects because such low doses of radiation are injected. Patients can be given several shots of radiation during one session, and sessions can be repeated until the tumor has stopped growing.Gamma knife procedures can be used to treat:

  • Benign tumors, such as meningiomas, schwannomas, craniopharyngiomas, pineal tumors, acoustic neuromas, and pituitary adenomas.
  • Malignant tumors, such as metastatic tumors, chordomas, ependymomas, medulloblastomas, astrocytomas, and anaplastic astrocytomas.
  • Arteriovenous malformations (ATV)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Generally Gamma Knife use is restricted to those tumors that are less than 4 centimeters in size.

This procedure has a success rate between 90 and 95 percent, as that is how often the procedure stops tumor growth. The majority of the time it also causes tumors to shrink, taking anywhere from one week to a year to stop growth.

When a patient undergoes Gamma Knife treatment, he or she will be fitted with a clear, plastic frame.  My team uses 3D computer imaging to determine where radiation must be aimed to successfully reach the tumor. Patients are then fitted with the Gamma Knife apparatus, which is a metal helmet that emits radiation beams. The apparatus then directs radiation beams to the tumor.

This is how I complete Gamma Knife treatments. If you have any questions, check to see if I have answered them on Quora, or reach out to me directly.

Thanks for reading,

Ramin Rak