Gamma Knife radiation therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for brain AVMs (arteriovenous malformations) that uses high doses of radiation to target and destroy the abnormal blood vessels. The Gamma Knife is a specialized device that delivers radiation to a specific area of the brain with extreme precision, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
There are several reasons why people might choose Gamma Knife radiation therapy over surgery for treating brain AVMs. One of the main advantages of Gamma Knife radiation is that it is a non-invasive procedure, which means that there is no need for an incision (though there are four screws that are attach a halo to the skull at the start of treatment). This reduces the risk of complications and the recovery time is usually shorter than surgery.
Another advantage of Gamma Knife radiation is that it is highly effective in destroying the abnormal blood vessels in the AVM. Studies have shown that Gamma Knife radiation can achieve a high rate of obliteration of the AVM, with a low rate of complications. Additionally, Gamma Knife radiation therapy can be used to treat AVMs that are located in areas of the brain that are difficult to access surgically.
Gamma Knife radiation therapy is also a good option for people who are not good candidates for surgery, such as those with medical conditions that make surgery risky. Additionally, it can be an alternative option for people who want to avoid the risk of complications associated with surgery such as infection, bleeding, damaging eloquent brain tissue, and other risks.