Gamma Knife (Radiosurgery)

Gamma Knife® technology is a highly effective and precise alternative to brain surgery. In the hands of Mercy specialists, this form of “radiosurgery” is giving new hope to patients with conditions that previously were considered inaccessible or inoperable. This new technology addresses a myriad of illnesses including brain tumors and painful nerve conditions, such as trigeminal neuralgia.

Despite its name, Gamma Knife treatments do not involve cutting the skull or brain. Instead, brain disorders are treated using highly focused beams of radiation. This tight-to-the-tumor precision minimizes potential damage to surrounding tissue.

Treatment is often performed in a single, outpatient session. Patients avoid long hospital stays and rehabilitation. There is little to no discomfort, and patients can return to normal activity quickly, sometimes within one day.

Available at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City, Gamma Knife technology is considered the “gold standard” all over the world for treating cancer and non-malignant tumors and illnesses of the brain.

Is radiosurgery a treatment option for me?

Candidates for radiosurgery may include patients with:

  • Small brain tumors
  • Abnormal blood vessel formations called arteriovenous malformations
  • Trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve condition that causes chronic pain
  • Meningioma
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Pituitary adenoma

Talk to your Mercy doctor to find out if radiosurgery if the right treatment option for you.

What to Expect from Radiosurgery Treatment

Before you begin radiosurgery treatment, you will likely have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to find the exact location of the target(s). Once identified, a team of experts will develop a personalized treatment plan for you.

During treatment, you’ll be awake and will be able to talk to your health care team. The Gamma Knife machine doesn’t make any noise, so some patients listen to music or even fall asleep.

The treatment can last a few minutes or a few hours, depending on the size and number of targets. Your health care team will monitor you throughout the entire procedure.

After your treatment is complete, you may have a slight headache. Generally, patients go home right after radiosurgery and then get back to their normal routine after a day or so. 

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