Gamma Knife Radiosurgery has many advantages compared with traditional surgery and other types of radiation treatment. Neurosurgeons and patients often prefer Gamma Knife Radiosurgery because:
It’s an outpatient procedure that takes less than a day
It doesn’t hurt
It doesn’t require incisions, so there’s no general anesthesia and no risk of bleeding or infection
It can treat even the most challenging, hard-to-reach brain tumours and abnormalities that traditional brain surgery can’t
Side effects, such as headaches and nausea, are rare and usually temporary
Patients can return to normal activities the next day
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is performed in hundreds of leading hospitals around the world with more than 80,000 patients treated each year for a number of conditions including brain tumours. With thousands of peer reviewed articles it has gained wide clinical acceptance. Results have proven to be superior or comparable to conventional neurosurgery or whole brain radiotherapy, depending on the specific condition treated.
In England it is commissioned as a specialist service by NHSE, with patients receiving stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy expected to more than double over the next three years as a concrete step towards the implementation of NHS England’s Cancer Strategy. More than 6,200 patients a year are expected to benefit from these services by 2018/9, compared to just over 2,400 in 2014/15.