Technology : Treatment Planning and Delivery : Leksell Gamma Knife

Gamma Knife is a Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) procedure and also the trade name of the equipment that delivers the treatment. Despite the terminology, a Gamma Knife is not a knife at all. Elekta’s Leksell Gamma Knife is really a machine that delivers radiation beams in a very precise fashion for the treatment of brain tumors, lesions, or acoustic neuroma.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery has four phases:

  1. Stereotactic headframe application
  2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  3. Computerized 3D dose-planning
  4. Radiation delivery

The purpose of the head frame is to ensure that targeted areas do not move, which allows for precision in directing the beams to the area being treated. You’ll remain awake during the treatment, which can take from one to three hours in duration. You can usually resume normal activities within a day of the procedure.

This procedure is performed at our UAB Highlands facility.

For more information about the Leksell Gamma Knife from Elekta, please go to their informative website at

For more information, please view the following websites:


  • Radiosurgery
    Radiosurgery is a technique for treating tumors that cannot be reached using traditional surgical methods. The physician uses MRI scans to target the tumor and then delivers precise high doses of radiation to that target.
  • Stereotactic
    Stereotactic refers to precise positioning in three-dimensional space. A system of three-dimensional coordinates is used to locate the site to be operated on and a number of precisely aimed beams of ionizing radiation are aimed from diverse directions and meet at a specific point to deliver the radiation treatment to that point.