Often used on brain tumours, gamma knife radiosurgery is a form of radiation therapy that accurately focuses hundreds of individual laser beams at a tumour. It is often used as an alternative therapy to chemotherapy, surgery or other forms of radiation oncology.
Usually, only sedation or local anaesthesia is needed for gamma knife radiosurgery. Patients do not have to go under the knife, thus reducing their risk of infection and bleeding. Treatment typically lasts about 15 minutes to over an hour, depending on the patient’s condition.
Patients usually do not feel any pain, but may feel slight discomfort from the local anaesthesia. A headframe, which is fitted onto patients to prevent any head movement, may also cause slight discomfort.