UAMS offers Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

A new procedure allows doctors to treat brain tumors without invasive surgery or anesthesia.

Every year, more than 22,000 Americans are diagnosed with a brain tumor. It might begin as a headache, maybe you can't see as well as you used to, but end with what can be a terrifying diagnosis.

"In my case, the one lesion was so close to my optic nerve, that this was a way to take care of that without damaging my eye," says patient Sandra May Hall.

A new breakthrough procedure, though, used by doctors at UAMS is not only saving lives, but revolutionizing the once-standard treatment for brain cancer - surgery. It's called Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, and is really not surgery at all.

"We call it Gamma Knife Radiosurgery because it really involves delivering precise doses down to within milimeters of accuracy for the brain and the way that would echo the surgical precision that we use in the operating room," says Erika Peterson, UAMS neurosurgeon.

The patient is stabilized and in a frame. Using an MRI, the gamma knife can deliver radiation, a precise area of the brain.

"There are several benefits i think," says Peterson. "One is the ability to reach and to treat a tumor that might be within a part of the brain that's very deep."

The other advantage of the gamma knife - no anesthesia.

We can achieve a result in terms of controlling or eliminating a tumor without actually having to have a patient under an anesthesia," says Peterson.

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