Gamma Knife

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

When it comes to treating brain metastases and neurological disorders, doctors and staff at OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute (OSF INI) recognize that time is crucial. That’s why our Gamma Knife Center offers rapid consultation by a group of physicians dedicated to comprehensive, individualized and compassionate care. Each patient receives treatment that is precisely tailored to his or her individual needs, which may include Gamma Knife radiosurgery, another form of surgery, or radiotherapy.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery at OSF INI is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Once a patient's case is reviewed by our Gamma Knife Team and approved as appropriate, the patient is scheduled for treatment.

When a patient arrives at the Gamma Knife Center, treatment consists of four steps:

  1. Frame Placement: A lightweight frame is placed on the patient’s head using local anesthesia and remains there throughout treatment. The frame is needed as a reference point during treatment planning, and holds the head in the exact position required for precise treatment.
  2. Imaging and Treatment Planning: Next, MRI, CT scans or angiography is used to obtain images that clearly define where the tumor, AVM or treatment site is located. The detailed treatment plan they create determines the length of treatment. A typical Gamma Knife treatment plan takes one to two hours to complete.
  3. Treatment: After treatment planning is complete, the patient is transferred to the Gamma Knife treatment couch, where treatment is delivered. Radiosurgery is painless and typically lasts one to several hours. The patient remains awake and can communicate with the treatment team or listen to music.
  4. After Treatment: When the treatment is complete, the patient is taken out of the machine and the head frame is removed. Most patients are observed for a period of time and then released. Benefits of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife radiosurgery provides patients with a variety of advantages and benefits:

A Single, Non-invasive Treatment: Unlike surgery, patients experience very little pain and discomfort with Gamma Knife treatment. Only local anesthesia is necessary, eliminating the risks associated with the general anesthesia required for conventional neurosurgical procedures. Other risks such as infection, bleeding and other surgical complications are greatly reduced. And unlike other forms of radiation therapy that may require several weeks of daily treatments, Gamma Knife treatment is performed in a single, one-day session, with the actual procedure lasting only a couple of hours. Gamma Knife treatment can also be repeated if necessary and can be used on new areas if additional problems arise.

Team Approach: At OSF INI Gamma Knife Center, our multidisciplinary treatment team reviews every potential Gamma Knife patient case to ensure the patient's diagnosis and unique situation are appropriate for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Our team consists of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, medical oncologists and medical physicists, ensuring each patient receives the best and most appropriate care for his or her condition.

Documented Success: Gamma Knife treatment is the most established radiosurgical method. It is the standard against which all other radiosurgery methods are measured. Over 2,500 peer-reviewed clinical articles support its use to treat a variety of brain conditions. It has been in use for more than 40 years, with more than 500,000 patients treated worldwide. The PerfexionTM system also boasts new radiation-shielding levels that are up to 100 times better than alternative technologies, and is a fully automated system that makes the treatment process quick and seamless.

Effective Treatment Covered by Insurance: Most major medical insurance covers Gamma Knife treatment, including Medicare.

Gamma Knife Treatment Team