Some meningiomas may be too high risk, or difficult, to remove with surgery. If so, NYU Langone physicians may use radiosurgery, also known as stereotactic radiation or Gamma Knife® surgery, to treat small brain or skull base tumors.
Gamma Knife® surgery is also used in people who can’t undergo conventional surgery because of health problems or who choose to avoid surgery. It may also help those whose malignant tumors don’t respond to intensity modulated radiation therapy.
Despite the name, a Gamma Knife® is not a knife, but rather a system for delivering very targeted radiation treatment. Working together, the neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist use detailed imaging studies, such as CT or MRI scans, to create a precise treatment plan. Then, using the Gamma Knife® device, they target multiple radiation beams to the meningioma in a single session. Critical neighboring structures receive only a low dose of radiation.
If you have Gamma Knife® surgery, you wear a head frame during the procedure, which keeps you from moving and allows for the precise targeting of the treatment. Gamma Knife® surgery is an outpatient procedure.
Managing Side Effects
Our NYU Langone physicians actively monitor you for side effects of Gamma Knife® surgery, which may include headache and nausea. They also offer integrative therapies such as acupuncture and yoga, as well as rehabilitative support for any symptoms you may experience.
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