Chippenham Hospital
May 05, 2016

Twelve Years of Gamma Knife Technology Offers Hope to Patients with Brain Tumors

Richmond, Va. (May 3, 2016) – HCA Virginia’s neuroscience center at Johnston-Willis Hospital this week, celebrated its 3,000th gamma knife procedure, providing specialized radiosurgery treatment for patients with brain tumors, facial pain and other movement disorders.

“We pride ourselves on the personalized care that our patients get at Johnston-Willis. We treat the cancer patient in a multi-disciplinary approach which includes the radiation oncologist, the medical oncologist, and the neurosurgeon,” said K. Singh Sahni, M.D., medical director of the Neuroscience and Gamma Knife Center at Johnston-Willis Hospital. “Our patients with brain cancer live longer because of the comprehensive and detailed approach.”

A less-invasive method of treatment, the technology uses approximately 200 beams of radiation to precisely target and radiate tumors, while having minimal impact on surrounding tissues. Gamma-knife treatment is often performed on an outpatient basis.

In 2007, Johnston-Willis replaced its gamma-knife with the gamma knife Perfexion. Patients get multiple tumors treated in a single visit. The American Cancer society declared in its conference that this form of treatment for brain tumors is far superior and more effective with less morbidity over the conventional whole brain radiation which is done over several days in most hospitals.

Compared with traditional open surgery, Gamma Knife Perfexion surgery is less invasive and can be performed in a day, leading to shorter recovery times. The patient's head does not have to be shaved and side effects are few.

Johnston-Willis Hospital obtained its original Gamma Knife in 2004 and it has been used for 3,000 treatments on brain tumors and other neurological disorders. It has remained the only hospital in Richmond and only one of three in Virginia to offer this advanced radiosurgery system for head treatment.

Trigeminal Neuralgia, a rare neurological disorder with symptoms including extreme facial pain, has brought patients to Johnston-Willis Hospital from all over the United States. The Gamma Knife Perfexion can also be used to treat pituitary tumors, acoustic tumors and meningiomas.

“Over the last 12 years this sophisticated technology has offered hope to many patients, whose brain tumors previously may have been inoperable” said Sahni. “Our team has a lot to be proud of for the impact on our community and region.”

Johnston-Willis Hospital is the only Joint Commission certified brain tumor center in the United States and is a dedicated site for International Neurosurgeons to visit for training.