Gamma Knife Compared with Craniotomy, LINAC
In traditional surgery, the skull is opened in an operation called a craniotomy. The tumor or abnormality is then removed by cutting. In contrast, Gamma Knife® surgery does not remove the tumor or lesion, but rather damages the DNA of the cells involved. The goal of this approach is to arrest tumor growth by killing these cells. Over time, the tumor may dissolve or shrink in size.
Treatment with a modified linear accelerator (also called LINAC) is in some ways similar to the Gamma Knife, but is less precise due to the technology involved. A linear accelerator moves along multiple arcs to deliver its radiation to a targeted area while the Gamma Knife uses 192 separate beams of radiation.
However, some tumors are not appropriate for the Gamma Knife. These can include large tumors (generally 4cm or larger), or those that the Gamma Knife cannot reach because of their location. Such tumors maybe appropriate for linear accelerator treatment, or in other cases, surgery followed by Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.
In many, although not all cases, Gamma Knife surgery offers advantages over CyberKnife.
Gamma Knife® is a registered trademark of Elekta Group.