September 10, 2018

The Wellington Hospital introduces the Gamma Knife Icon

The Wellington Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, announces the introduction of the Gamma Knife Icon, the most innovative and accurate brain and skull radiation therapy on the market treating patients with brain tumours, vascular and functional disorders. This technology will be located at The Wellington Hospital’s dedicated London Gamma Knife Centre on 10 September, 2018. 



The Gamma Knife Icon uses radiation to treat tumours and lesions in the brain. It can treat both malignant and benign brain tumours, vascular disorders in the brain including cavernous malformations and arteriovenous malformations as well as a range of neurological disorders including Trigeminal Neuralgia (severe facial pain), Parkinson’s tremor, OCD and epilepsy.  

This pioneering technology will provide more streamlined, tailored and accurate treatment plans, meaning patients will not be required to stay in hospital overnight, will have shorter recovery times and have the option to use a custom face mask, as opposed to the traditional headframe used with previous Gamma Knife systems, which can cause discomfort. 


Using this new equipment, the multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists and physicists can target and treat conditions with higher accuracy than any other system, within 0.5mm, enabling consultants to deliver a high dose of radiation to the affected areas, reducing the dose to the surrounding healthy brain. The design of the Gamma Knife also means that there is much less radiation delivered to the rest of the body, again reducing the risk to the patient from treatment. This minimally invasive procedure means there is no risk of bleeding or infection, and a short recovery time (typically 24-72 hours), meaning patients can return to their normal activities almost immediately. 


Similar to The Icon’s predecessor, The Gamma Knife Perfexion, the system can safely deliver single large doses of radiation to affected areas, reducing the number of treatment sessions for patients. However, with the new technology, consultants now have the option of delivering fractionated radiosurgery, which provides radiation therapy in multiple smaller doses, allowing consultants to tailor treatment packages for each patient, helping to reduce side effects.

The launch of The Gamma Knife Centre is part of a £20 million investment in The Wellington Hospital, to continue its commitment to providing world-class healthcare for both the local community and patients from further afield.

Mr Ian Sabin, neurosurgeon, skull base surgeon and medical director of the London Gamma Knife Centre said: “I have been treating patients using The Gamma Knife for more than 15 years, and the procedure has certainly revolutionised neurosurgery. The launch of The Gamma Knife in the 1980s meant many patients no longer had to undergo conventional brain surgery which can be traumatic to the body and incur lengthy recovery times. Since then, we have seen a number of upgrades to this technology of which the Icon is the latest and is a great step forward. 


“This new technology means we can offer patients the most accurate and precise radiosurgery completely tailored to them and their condition. Treatment times will be quicker, which means I will be able to treat more people within a day, and patients will be able to go back to their daily activities almost immediately after.  

“Although Gamma Knife surgery is already well established and of proven efficacy, the new model will be the best we have seen and used.”


John Reay, President and Chief Executive Officer of HCA UK commented: “We are delighted to house The London Gamma Knife Centre within The Wellington Hospital. The new centre has been launched as part of our commitment to providing our patients from the UK and oversees with world-class and comprehensive care. 

“Our offering at The Wellington Hospital includes neurosurgery, spinal surgery, cardiac care, orthopaedics, acute neurological rehabilitation and cancer care. We provide our consultants and clinicians with the most cutting-edge technology and equipment to provide patients with the very best care, and the acquisition of the Gamma Knife Icon furthers this promise and offering.”


For more information contact / 020 7025 1363

#Story updated 27/09/2019 - change to John Reay's job title. 

About HCA Healthcare UK

  • HCA Healthcare UK is the country's largest provider of privately funded care, with over 800,000 patient visits every year. From complex and urgent care, to primary care, outpatient and day-case treatment, HCA UK provide care across our network of facilities in London and Manchester.
  • HCA Healthcare UK includes London Bridge Hospital, The Portland Hospital, The Harley Street Clinic, The Lister Hospital, The Princess Grace Hospital, The Wellington Hospital, Roodlane Medical Ltd, and Blossoms Healthcare. 
  • HCA UK also work with leading NHS Trusts to provide care at Private Care at The Christie and HCA UK at University College Hospital and Private Care at Guy’s. 

About Mr H Ian Sabin BMSc FRCS(Ed) FRCS(Eng)

  • He has been a Consultant Neurosurgeon in Barts Health NHS Trust since 1992. 
  • Ian’s Gamma Knife training was in Pittsburgh in 2001, advanced training in Marseille in 2003 and Stockholm for advanced physics in 2009. He also trained in CyberKnife in California in 2011.
  • He had a long history of involvement with the Royal College of Surgeons of England being a past Neurosurgical Tutor responsible for hands-on workshops for trainees, a former member of the Specialist Advisory Committee for Neurosurgery, and past member of the Court of Examiner.
  • His professional memberships include the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, The Congress of Neurosurgery, The North American Skull Base Society and the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society.
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