HOUSTON (June 02, 2015)

Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center has recently renovated and expanded its Gamma Knife facility, offering patients enhanced accommodations and technologies including a brand new, advanced Gamma Knife.

A Gamma Knife is actually not a knife at all, but a unique, well-established treatment method that delivers extremely focused radiation beams to specific targets in the brain. Designed to treat benign or malignant brain tumors as well as other functional disorders affecting the brain, Mischer Neuroscience Institute has successfully treated more than 3,400 patients since acquiring the region’s first Gamma Knife in 1993.

The Institute is now using the more advanced Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion™. Patients who benefit from Perfexion’s sophisticated software with dose-to-target conformation include those with meningiomas and vestibular schwannomas; arteriovenous malformations; medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia; and metastases. Multiple intracranial metastases can usually be treated in a single outpatient procedure.

“Using the Gamma Knife allows us to target and treat a single focal point within the brain, and we are able to spare the healthy tissue,” said Angel Blanco, MD, Mischer Neuroscience Institute's director of Radiation Oncology and Stereotactic Radiosurgery and a clinical assistant professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth Medical School. “Furthermore, with the shape and dose of radiation optimized to only hit the target, we can perform multiple treatments and provide better outcomes, while maintaining appropriate safety levels.”

A key component in Gamma Knife radiosurgery is the stereotactic head frame which is attached to a patient’s head to ensure precision. Once in place, imaging is performed to determine the exact size, shape and position of the target in the brain for further accuracy. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is silent and painless and, depending on the size of the target, can last just a few minutes, with most patients getting discharged the same day. “This is a simple, safe and effective treatment option that virtually eliminates surgical risk,” added Dr. Blanco. “Offerings like these are designed to increase patient convenience and decrease wait times, and the new machine cuts treatment times by half.”

A collaboration between Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and UTHealth, Mischer Neuroscience Institute is south Texas' largest neuroscience care provider and one of only a few institutions in the country to fully integrate neurology, neurosurgery and neurorehabilitation to treat patients with a variety of neurological disorders. Mischer Neuroscience Institute's Gamma Knife is now located at the Memorial Hermann-TMC campus in the Jones Pavilion Basement, Suite 400. Learn more about the Gamma Knife, or call 713.704.7100.