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How Does the Gamma Knife Work?

The Gamma Knife delivers 192 beams of extremely focused radiation to a precise target in the brain. Individually, the beams are too weak to damage healthy tissue. Together, they converge to deliver powerful treatment to a single point.

Advantages of Gamma Knife® Perfexion™:

  • A complete redesign of previous Gamma Knife units
  • Expanded reach for treatment of metastasis anywhere in the brain
  • Ability to treat multiple locations in a single session

To establish the target for the radiation, a team of physicians creates detailed maps of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or angiography imaging. They then determine the precise amount of radiation needed to treat the disease.

The radiation doesn't remove the diseased tissue; rather, it damages the individual abnormal cells. Brain tumor cells lose their ability to multiply and blood vessel malformations close off, and they eventually stop growing and start to shrink.

To learn more about how the Gamma Knife works, watch the online video.











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Need an appointment? Request one online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to speak to a referral counselor.

Gamma Knife and Leksell Gamma Knife are U.S. federally registered trademarks of Elekta Instrument S.A., Geneva, Switzerland. Photo credits: Susan Pardys, Elekta, Inc.

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