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Perfexion™, the first full redesign of the Gamma Knife in 30 years

Perfexion™, the first full redesign of the Gamma Knife in 30 years

Surgeons at South Sound Gamma Knife at St. Joseph now use the latest Gamma Knife® technology for even greater precision to reduce or eliminate tumors or lesions in the brain without traditional surgery. Gamma Knife is widely recognized as the gold standard for stereotactic radiosurgery in the brain. Perfexion™, the first full redesign of the Gamma Knife in 30 years, improves access to tumors at the base of the skull and offers single-session, leading-edge treatment for multiple metastatic tumors. Perfexion greatly reduces treatment times for improved patient comfort.

“Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment benefits patients with malignant and benign brain tumors, vascular malformations, trigeminal neuralgia and essential tremor,” said Neurosurgeon Daniel Nehls, MD, a member of the South Sound Gamma Knife team and a practicing physician at Neurosurgery Northwest – Tacoma, part of Franciscan Medical Group. “Response may be seen in just a few weeks or over several months, depending on the condition treated.”

Despite the name, Gamma Knife is actually a bladeless procedure. There is no incision in the skull so the risk for complications is minimal. Gamma Knife can be an option for many patients who were previously not candidates for traditional brain surgery due to advanced age, co-existing health problems or high-risk medical illness.

“Gamma Knife differs from conventional radiation therapy because patients receive highly targeted radiation delivered to a specific focal area of the brain,” said Radiation Oncologist Randy Sorum, MD, co-medical director for the program and a practicing physician at Tacoma Radiation Oncology Centers.  “As a result, they do not experience side effects commonly associated with traditional radiation therapy.”

Gamma Knife Perfexion focuses 192 converging beams of high-dose Cobalt60-generated photons on a computer-mapped target.  Sophisticated, three-dimensional treatment planning provides extreme precision and makes it possible to administer a high radiation dose to the lesion without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.

During Gamma Knife therapy, patients receive local anesthesia, remain awake during the procedure and experience little, if any, discomfort. Treatment generally requires just a single session and patients usually go home the same day. Most individuals resume normal activities within 48 hours.

“We are committed to using state-of-the-art technology to provide our patients with the best treatments that can maintain or improve their quality of life,” said Neurosurgeon Peter Shin, MD, co-medical director for South Sound Gamma Knife and a practicing physician at South Sound Neurosurgery. “Gamma Knife can be an effective and non-invasive treatment option for many patients.”

South Sound Gamma Knife is a partnership between St. Joseph Medical Center, part of Franciscan Health System, and Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers. Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery is performed at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. The experienced team of neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists at South Sound Gamma Knife has performed more than 440 procedures since opening in late 2005.

Gamma Knife therapy is a benefit of most medical insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. For more information about Gamma Knife technology visit www.SouthSoundGammaKnife.com or call 253-284-2438.

South Sound Gamma Knife hosts free chronic facial pain seminar May 3 in Tacoma

Posted by: South Sound Gamma Knife ● April 26, 2011

Tacoma, WA – South Sound Gamma Knife will host a free seminar for people living with chronic facial pain on Tuesday, May 3, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Medical Center, 1717 South J St, in Tacoma.

The evening of education and discussion will include presentations by Neurosurgeon Peter Shin MD, MS, and Radiation Oncologist Randy Sorum, MD. They are co-directors of South Sound Gamma Knife and members of TNA-The Facial Pain Association.

Topics discussed at the May 3 health talk will include surgical and non-surgical treatment options for neuropathic facial pain, as well as current research. Those with neuropathic facial pain, including trigeminal neuralgia and other facial pain conditions, and their support persons, are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m.; the program will start at 6 p.m. Space is limited and reservations are required.  To register, call (888) 825-3227 toll-free or visit www.FHShealth.org/classes.

About Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a neurological disorder that causes sudden and agonizing, lightning-like attacks of pain, usually on one side of the face. These episodes of excruciating pain last from a few seconds to as long as two minutes. The presumed cause of TN is a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve in the head as it exits the brainstem. The condition may be part of the normal aging process, but in some cases it is associated with another disorder, such as multiple sclerosis, characterized by damage to the myelin sheath that covers certain nerves. An estimated one in 15,000 people suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, although the number may be significantly higher due to frequent misdiagnosis of the condition. More information is available online at www.endthepain.org.

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