For children with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and brain tumors, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a precise, non-invasive, powerful treatment that requires no incision and has minimal effects on surrounding healthy brain tissue.
About Gamma Knife radiosurgery
Magnetic resonance imaging and sophisticated computer software determine the size, location and shape of the area to be treated. After the patient’s head is positioned within a hemispheric helmet, the Gamma Knife’s 201 precisely guided beams of energy are focused on that specific target in the brain.
Although young children need anesthesia to undergo Gamma Knife radiosurgery, the minimally invasive nature of the procedure means these patients usually only need to stay in the hospital overnight for observation, or may go home the same day as the procedure. For teenagers, the procedure is most often an outpatient procedure for which little recuperation is needed and normal activities may be resumed the next day.
- The radiation treatments are designed to stop the growth of tumors and obliterate lesions.
- The effects will be seen over a period of weeks to months for most tumors, and months to years for AVMs.
- The treatment is silent and painless and will last between one to two hours depending on the size and shape of the target.
- Provides an alternative to open intracranial surgery.
- Outpatient or overnight stay.
The pediatric Gamma Knife team
These clinicians meet regularly to review candidates for the Gamma Knife Center and to track patient care and progress.
- Matthew D. Smyth, MD, pediatric neurosurgeon
- Stephanie Perkins, MD, pediatric radiation oncologist
- Eric Filiput, RN, operations manager
- Robert Dryzmala, PhD, therapeutic radiological physicist
- Dan Lowe, PhD, therapeutic radiological physicist
- Eric Klein, MS, therapeutic radiological physicist
- Karen Watt, RN