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Gamma Knife treatment

A non-invasive radiation treatment

The Gamma Knife sends precise radiation beams to targets in the brain that respond to radiation treatment.

About

The Leksell Gamma Knife isn't a knife at all. It was developed by a Swedish neurosurgeon who wanted to emphasize surgical precision in its delivery of gamma rays. As a state-of-the-art piece of equipment it allows a consultant to direct radiation beams to specific areas within a patient's head without making an incision. It allows day case treatments with fewer complications. Its precision and non-invasive nature means it can treat tumours in areas previously considered inoperable due to the high risk of surgical complications.

What is Gamma Knife?

In this video, Mr Ian Sabin explains how Gamma Knife works and what treatments it can be used to treat at The London Gamma Knife Centre.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    An aluminium frame is fitted to your head, applied under local anaesthetic. For some patients a mask will be used rather than a frame. You’ll have an MRI scan to outline the area requiring treatment. For some blood vessel malformations (AVMs), a blood vessel X-ray is also needed (cerebral angiogram). You’ll then move into the gamma knife, where multiple radiation beams will be delivered. Most treatments require one session, but the procedure may require several hours when frame fitting, scanning, treatment planning, treatment delivery and recovery is taken into account. Most patients return home the same day. You may stay overnight if treatment has been for a vascular malformation.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    You'll be asked to remove all make-up, hairpieces, dentures, contact lenses and glasses. Underwired bras should not be worn and we also advise that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that is 100 per cent cotton. A light, early breakfast should not be a problem, we start the day at 8.30am. Due to the frame, you may find it difficult to eat during the day. Like all procedures, there are potential risks or side effects involved with Gamma Knife treatment. Your consultant will explain these to you and you will be able to discuss them before the treatment. A member of the team is likely to contact you before the day of treatment to ensure you have all the information you need before attending.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Once the frame is removed, you may notice some bleeding from the pin sites. If so, this stops with pressure for a few minutes. These small wounds may feel sensitive for a few days afterwards. You might have a headache or feel nauseous afterwards. And your consultant may prescribe steroids for you to take after the procedure to help prevent any swelling or inflammation around the area treated with radiation. You'll may be able to return to normal activities - even work - within one to three days. Your consultant will arrange a follow-up appointment to check how you're recovering and to assess how you've responded to treatment.

Our consultants

Consultant

Ian Sabin

Consultant Neurosurgeon

Specialties

Neurosurgery: Brain tumour,Neurooncology,Spinal Brain,Brain Tumours,Neurosurgery - Developmental,Epilepsy Surgery,Neurosurgery - Movement disorder,Pain management,Neurosurgery - Trauma

Works at

The Wellington Hospital

The London Gamma Knife Centre

Consultant

Ronald Beaney

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Specialties

Clinical oncology,Brain tumour,Neurooncology,Spinal Brain: Brain tumour,Neurooncology,Spinal Brain

Works at

The London CyberKnife Centre

The Princess Grace Hospital

The Harley Street Clinic

London Bridge Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

Consultant

Amen Sibtain

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Specialties

Clinical oncology,Gastrointestinal cancers,Upper gastrointestinal cancers,Lower gastointestinal cancers,Head & Neck cancer: Gastrointestinal cancers,Head & Neck cancer,Gastrointestinal cancers,Lower gastointestinal cancers

Works at

The Princess Grace Hospital

The Harley Street Clinic

London Bridge Hospital

Leaders in Oncology Care (LOC)

The Wellington Hospital

Consultant

Levansri Makalanda

Consultant Neuroradiologist

Specialties

Clinical radiology

Works at

The Harley Street Clinic Diagnostic Centre

The Princess Grace Hospital

The Harley Street Clinic

London Bridge Hospital

HCA UK at The Shard

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health

Sevenoaks Medical Centre

The Wellington Hospital

Consultant

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John Conibear

Oncologist

Specialties

Clinical oncology,Breast cancer,Lung,Small cell lung cancer,Non small cell lung,Other types of lung cancer: Breast cancer,Lung,Small cell lung cancer,Non small cell lung,Other types of lung cancer

Works at

The Princess Grace Hospital

The Harley Street Clinic

Leaders in Oncology Care (LOC)

The Lister Hospital

Consultant

Dimitrios Paraskevopoulos

Consultant Neurosurgeon

Specialties

Neurosurgery

Works at

London Bridge Hospital

Our facilities

We're constantly investing in new technology at all our facilities so we can give you the best possible care. The London Gamma Knife Centre at The Wellington Hospital is just one example.

Contact us

Any questions about gamma knife treatment, or would you like to make an appointment? You can call or email us and we'll be happy to help.

020 3214 3500
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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