Florida Hospital Cancer Institute ›› Treatment & Technology ›› Radiation Therapy ›› Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

The Gamma Knife® isn't really a knife at all, but radiosurgery - a non-invasive neurosurgical procedure that uses powerful doses of radiation to target and treat diseased brain tissue while leaving surrounding tissue intact. This state-of-the art technology allows physicians to operate on brain lesions often considered inoperable. Gamma Knife surgery treatment offers new hope for patients with brain tumors, vascular malformations and functional disorders.

The Florida Hospital Gamma Knife Center was established in 1996, the first in Central Florida and has treated thousands of patients with a multitude of different brain lesions since that time. The largest and most experienced in the region, Florida Hospital's Gamma Knife Center provides radiation treatment with the Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™, which is the most technologically advanced non-invasive brain surgery technique available today. Florida Hospital is the only facility in Central Florida using this robotic-assisted, state-of-the-art model to operate on brain lesions and tumors.

Benefits of Gamma Knife

Additional benefits of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery include the following:

  • No anesthesia
  • Surgery without an incision
  • Lower costs than conventional brain surgery
  • Minimal discomfort
  • The ability to resume normal activities sooner
  • The absence of an incision eliminates the risk of hemorrhage and infection
  • The Gamma Knife procedure often takes less than 1 hour to plan and less than one hour to treat. Most patients are back home resuming their regular activities later that day. No medicines have to be discontinued and no other concomitant therapies have to be delayed for Gamma Knife to be performed.
  • Gamma Knife technology allows treatment of inoperable lesions. The procedure offers hope to patients who were formerly considered untreatable or at very high-risk for open-skull surgery.

How does Gamma Knife Work?

The Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ emits finely focused beams of gamma radiation with minimal effect on surrounding normal tissue and without the usual risks of surgery or an incision. Gamma Knife surgery maximizes patient comfort and can be used to treat lesions that before were either inaccessible or were treated unsuccessfully by conventional surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

The Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ offers unparalleled accuracy and precision, allows planning with all stereotactic and non-stereotactic image modalities (e.g., CT, MR, PET), and maximizes patient comfort. At Florida Hospital, our multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuro-otologists, neuro-oncologists and interventional neuroradiologists review cases weekly and a comprehensive plan of care is established for each patient's lesion.

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is indicated when:

  • A patient has an unacceptable risk for anesthesia and open microsurgery
  • A traditional microsurgical approach might cause significant neurological damage
  • A patient has a recurrent or persistent tumor
  • A patient cannot safely receive any further conventional radiation treatment
  • A non-invasive treatment for a lesion is preferred