Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

The Leksell Gamma Knife Icon at the Siteman Cancer Center.

High accuracy delivers quick recoveries

Washington University School of Medicine was the first to offer the non-invasive Gamma Knife technology in Missouri. This technology enables physicians to treat brain targets that are surgically hard-to-reach or inaccessible with high accuracy and safety in a well-tolerated outpatient procedure.

The Leksell Gamma Knife Icon System focuses 192 radiation beams on precisely defined targets, without an incision and with minimal effects to surrounding healthy tissue. Gamma Knife radiosurgery has been performed over the past three decades, and it has become widely available in the past decade.

The Gamma Knife unit has a long, well-documented history of accuracy and success in delivering focused radiation. More than 3,400 patients have been treated at the Washington University Gamma Knife Center.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a treatment option for a number of neurosurgical conditions. In some instances, it represents an alternative form of treatment that may be equivalent to an open neurosurgical procedure. Because it is generally performed on an outpatient basis, it is cost-efficient, preventing lengthy hospital stays, expensive medications, and occasional long-term rehabilitation.

The Gamma Knife Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital is jointly owned by Barnes-Jewish Hospital and HealthSouth and opened in June 1998. The facility allows credentialed physicians from the St. Louis metropolitan area to treat patients with appropriate neurosurgical conditions within the Barnes-Jewish Hospital unit.


Conditions & treatments

“Radiosurgery” is a term coined by Lars Leksell, MD, the pioneering developer of the Gamma Knife. The procedure involves the precise delivery of a volume of high-dose radiation contoured in a custom-tailored fashion to a distinct target in the brain.

More specifically, Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be indicated for treatment of select patients with

  • metastatic brain tumors
  • meningiomas
  • pituitary adenomas
  • vestibular schwannomas
  • glomus tumors
  • arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and other vascular lesions
  • trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain
  • essential tremor
  • epilepsy, and selected other neurologic conditions.

Our experts

Radiation Oncologists

Christopher Abraham, MD
Lauren Henke, MD
Jiayi Huang, MD
Stephanie Perkins, MD
Clifford Robinson, MD
Maria Thomas, MD
Imran Zoberi, MD

Physicists

Joseph Dise, MS
James Kaanaugh, MS
Taeho Kim, PhD
Nels Knutson, PhD
Tim Mitchell, PhD
Jacqueline Zoberi, PhD