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September 12, 1996

UPMC using Gamma Knife for brain surgery without incisions

The Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has become the first institution in the world with two 20-ton Gamma Knife surgical units that perform computer-driven bloodless brain surgery.

The Gamma Knife destroys brain tumors and vascular malformations in the brain that were once considered inoperable. The treatment is unique because no surgical incision is performed to expose the tumor.

"This technology represents one of the most advanced means available to treat brain tumors and abnormal brain arteries and veins that can cause disastrous or even fatal bleeding in the brain," said L. Dade Lunsford, professor of neurological surgery and co-director of UPMC's Center for Image-Guided Neurosur-gery.

Gamma Knife surgery is safer than many existing procedures because patients need not undergo risky open-skull procedures. Adult patients do not even require general anesthesia. Patients generally leave the hospital within 24 hours.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 29 Issue 2

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