Gamma Knife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Cerebrovascular Conditions

Radiosurgery is not surgery in the conventional sense, since it does not require an incision. Instead, high-energy beams of radiation are directed at the target in the brain with the aim of destroying that tissue. As a result, the patient may enjoy many of the benefits of surgery, often with reduced risk, and without a prolonged convalescence and incision pain. Several types of radiosurgery are practiced, the most common of which focus converging beams of radiation at the target point (so-called focused beam radiation) while beams of ions (heavy particle radiosurgery) can also be used as they deposit their energy and the destructive power at predictable depths below the surface. There are two common methods of focused beam radiosurgery: linear accelerator radiosurgery and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. Although there are many similarities in these two approaches, there are also important distinctions. Radiosurgery can be used to treat some malignant or benign brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, certain types of facial pain such as trigeminal neuralgia, and may have a role in the management of Parkinson's disease and other disorders of the brain.