Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
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Gamma Knife Surgery

Gamma Knife Surgery (GKS) is a minimally invasive neurosurgical procedure performed by neurosurgeons and colleagues from radiation oncology and medical physics. This effective and powerful technique is used most often to treat patients with benign tumors, some malignant brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), and disorders of abnormal function such as trigeminal neuralgia. GKS is also used to treat several other conditions (see Conditions Treated).

The Gamma Knife delivers a single high dose of ionizing radiation emanating from 201 cobalt-60 sources. The highly focused beams of gamma rays are guided with surgical precision, without a scalpel and without the usual risks of open neurosurgery. Most patients return home the same day and resume full activities within one or two days.

GKS has become a standard neurosurgical treatment option in many countries, and it is projected that several thousand Canadians could benefit from this treatment each year. The safety and effectiveness of GKS has been carefully studied and documented in over 1500 specific papers. There are approximately 175 GKS centers worldwide, treating over 25,000 patients annually. In 2003, Gamma Knife surgery was established as a subspecialty program of Neurological Surgery in Winnipeg; the home of Canada's first and only gamma knife and GKS program.

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