Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Specialist

David Newell, MD

Cerebrovascular, Spinal, and Brain Tumor Neurosurgery located in Bellevue, WA

Despite its name, Gamma Knife® radiosurgery treats brain and neck tumors without scalpels or incisions. It’s a noninvasive procedure that uses high-dose radiation to precisely target cancerous and benign growths. David Newell, MD has successfully treated many patients using Gamma Knife radiosurgery to destroy tumors while preserving the surrounding brain tissues. If you need treatment for a brain or neck growth, call Dr. Newell’s Seattle practice in Washington or book an appointment online.

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Q & A

What is radiosurgery?

Radiosurgery is a procedure that uses high-dose radiation to treat abnormal vascular growths and cancerous and noncancerous tumors. When radiation penetrates cells, it damages their DNA, halting their growth. For many conditions, radiation successfully shrinks the tumor.

Although some systems use radiosurgery to treat tumors throughout your body, the Gamma Knife® system is uniquely designed to focus on your brain and neck.

How does Gamma Knife radiosurgery work?

During Gamma Knife radiosurgery, hundreds of radiation beams target the tumor or growth from many directions at the same time.

Since radiation comes from all directions, your head must stay perfectly still throughout the procedure to ensure the radiation beams precisely hit the tumor. Dr. Newell may stabilize your head using a custom-formed mesh mask or by pinning it into a box-like frame that’s attached to the treatment table.  

After your head is in place, the location of the tumor is calculated using X-ray guided imaging and motion-tracking software, then the system sends radiation into the tumor.

What are the advantages of the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion™?

Dr. Newell uses the cutting-edge Gamma Knife Perfexion, an exceptionally accurate device that provides the same precise treatment as similar systems in less time.

This system delivers about 200 radiation beams at once. Each beam has a low intensity, so it doesn’t harm your skin as it travels to the tumor. When all the individual beams converge on the tumor, their combined effect delivers a very high dose of radiation that halts cancerous cell proliferation.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is painless, so you won’t need anesthesia during your treatment; however, you may receive a local anesthetic and sedation while your head is secured, if needed.

What conditions are treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery?

Dr. Newell often treats the following conditions with Gamma Knife radiosurgery:

  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Meningiomas
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Benign and cancerous brain tumors
  • Cavernous angiomas
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Metastatic tumors that originated elsewhere in your body

Radiosurgery makes most tumors slowly shrink and dissolve, though it can take weeks to years to see the effect of your treatment, depending on your specific condition.

Cancerous tumors tend to shrink more quickly than benign tumors. Noncancerous growths typically stop growing, but they may not shrink. Cerebral arteriovenous malformations can take several years to finally resolve after your treatment.

To learn more about Gamma Knife radiosurgery, call David Newell, MD or book an appointment online.