Gamma Knife Center Adds New Technology

The San Diego Gamma Knife Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will soon become the first facility in Southern California to offer the new Leksell Gamma Knife Model 4C.

Developed in 1968, Gamma Knife, or stereotactic radiosurgery, is a noninvasive procedure to treat a variety of brain disorders including cancer. The Gamma Knife emits 201 finely focused beams of gamma radiation that simultaneously intersect at the location of the disorder. Because the beams are administered so precisely, there is minimal effect on the surrounding normal tissue.

“For more than a decade, the San Diego Gamma Knife Center has been changing the lives of thousands of patients with life-threatening brain diseases,” says Kenneth Ott, M.D., neurosurgeon and medical director of San Diego Gamma Knife Center. “The Model 4C – with its new software refinements, enhanced radiation generation capacity, and automated position capability – is perhaps the most effective device available for use against complicated neurologic disorders.”

The new upgraded $3.5 million machine is scheduled to be lowered by a crane into the roof hatch of the San Diego Gamma Knife Center on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Following renovation of the center, treatment on patients is anticipated to resume on Feb. 9.

Established in 1994, the San Diego Gamma Knife Center has long been recognized for its excellence in treating patients with severe neurological conditions such as brain tumors and arteriorvascular malformations (AVMs). The Center has treated approximately 2,500 patients. Each surgery is performed quickly and painlessly in a single session. Gamma Knife requires little or no anesthesia, offers a fast recovery time and is safer and less costly than surgery or full-brain radiation. Patients typically return to their routine daily activities within a day or two.