The Procedure and the Indications
The Gamma Knife has enabled neurosurgeons to treat many brain tumours that are otherwise inaccessible for therapy. It is also used to reduce the risk for bleeding in patients with arterio-venous malformations (AVM) of the brain. The ultimate goal of Gamma Knife radiosurgery is to maintain the patient’s quality of life. In some indications Gamma Knife replaces an open tumour operation or a fractionated radiotherapy of the whole brain. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is highly effective even against tumours which are otherwise relatively resistant to traditional external beam radiation. Sometimes the Gamma Knife is used as an additive therapy, which enables the surgeon to operate less radically and thereby with a lower complication rate. In some instances Gamma Knife is combined with conventional radiation or is used when a brain tumour did not respond sufficiently after previous conventional radiotherapy. Gamma Knife can be an excellent treatment option for patients with trigeminal neuralgia who fail to respond to medical therapy.
Large volumes should not be treated with radiosurgery.