Brain cancer requires specialized care and precise treatment.

At Baptist Health Cancer Care, you can access the latest in Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. This targeted delivery system directs radiation to treat cancer and keep other parts of your brain safe.

Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute provides enhanced convenience by offering every radiosurgery platform, including GK Esprit — the latest option in Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

About Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an extremely precise nonsurgical radiation treatment for small cancerous (malignant) tumors inside the brain, designed to deliver high doses which can shrink or destroy the tumor.

Radiation oncology specialists use Gamma Knife radiosurgery to treat or induce:

  • Primary brain tumors. Brain tumors that begin in the brain · Secondary brain tumors. Brain tumors that form from cancer cells that have traveled from another part of the body
  • Functional changes. Altering the function of certain parts of the brain to alleviate symptoms, trigeminal neuralgia for example, or regulating the hormone secretion from pituitary tumors
  • Vascular obliteration. To treat and cure vascular conditions such as arteriovenous malformations

Gamma Knife Icon Machine

How Gamma Knife works

Gamma Knife treatment uses multiple high-energy gamma rays to target small lesions or tumors in the brain. With this precise technology, we can minimize damage to surrounding healthy brain tissue.

Is Gamma Knife right for me?

The Baptist Health Cancer Care team will assess your specific condition to determine if Gamma Knife radiosurgery is right for you.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be right for you if:

  • You’ve been diagnosed with a hard-to-reach lesion or tumor on your brain
  • You have cancer that’s spread to your brain from another part of your body
  • You aren’t a candidate for traditional neurosurgery
  • You have a vascular malformation in the brain that needs treatment beyond surgery
  • You have intractable pain from trigeminal neuralgia
  • This treatment offers a high likelihood of success. Successful treatment depends on many factors, including your tumor size, location and type. Your personal medical history can also affect the results. Your doctor will talk with you about your expected outcome from Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment.

What to Expect During Gamma Knife Treatment

A few days before Gamma Knife radiosurgery, most patients will have a planning MRI. Radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons and other experts use your MRI images to plan your personalized Gamma Knife treatment.

Your care team will also fit you for a frame or specially made mask to keep your head still during your treatment. When using the frame, you usually can complete treatment in a day. When using a mask, three to five treatments/fractions may be necessary.

On your treatment day, you will need someone to drive you to your appointment. When you arrive, you will have a CT scan to confirm the final calculations for your session.

During your treatment, you will lie down on a specialized table. The table will move through the Gamma Knife machine to ensure you are in the correct position to receive the radiation. You may hear noises from the machine, but these are normal. You will wear headphones so you can hear instructions from your radiation oncology technician. Also, you can also listen to music during your treatment, and your care team will ensure your comfort.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatments can take from 20 minutes to treat a single lesion or several hours to treat multiple lesions or tumors.

Some people need only one Gamma Knife radiosurgery session. Others may require up to five. Your care team will discuss the best treatment plan for you.

What to Expect after Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an outpatient procedure, and you can go home the same day of your treatment. You can also typically get back to your daily activities within a day or two after treatment.

  • After Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment, you may experience mild side effects, which you can treat with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These side effects may include:

    • Mild headaches
    • Nausea
    • Swelling at the site of the pins, which fix the frame to the scalp
    • Tingling sensation on the scalp
    • Tiredness

    The risks associated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery are low but could include swelling or bleeding on the brain.

Leaders in Gamma Knife Treatment, Training and Innovation

Leaders in Gamma Knife Treatment, Training and Innovation

Radiation oncology specialists with Baptist Health Cancer Care are leaders in using Gamma Knife radiosurgery to treat brain cancer

  • In 2023, our team treated over 1,000 patients (and targeted over 4,000 tumors) with Gamma Knife radiosurgery.
  • Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute trains the next generation of neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists. We are one of only four Gamma Knife credentialing and training programs in the country. We are also home to the only accredited continuing medical education advanced training program.
  • We continuously upgrade our technology to remain at the leading edge of Gamma Knife treatment. In 2023, we installed GK Esprit, the most elite and sophisticated Gamma Knife platform available.

Have Questions?

We’re here to help answer any questions you or your family may have.

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