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A brief history of RADIOSURGERY( precision, targeted highly focused radiation).

Written by Dr. Warren Goldman

“RADIOSURGERY” is a term coined by Lars Leksell, A Swedish Neurosurgeon who was Professor and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden between 1960-1974. He was perhaps the most innovative neurosurgeon of his time, most noted for his creative and ingenious approaches to complex brain disorders.

Seeking a solution for treating traditionally inaccessible areas in the brain, he developed a novel tool that allowed for the treatment of diseases of the brain with a highly sophisticated technique. He termed the technique “Radiosurgery” because it employed highly-focused beams of ionizing radiation - gamma rays - to be delivered to deep, delicate brain tissue with surgical precision, but without making an incision. This non-invasive brain surgery revolutionized the treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors, movement disorders, pain syndromes such as trigeminal neuralgia, and clusters of leaky blood vessels known as arteriovenous malformations. The Gamma Knife was used, for the first time, to treat these disorders in humans in 1968.

Over the ensuing half-century of extensive worldwide clinical usage it became the “Gold Standard” in the field of Radiosurgery. As computerized imaging such as the CT scan and MRI replaced conventional radiology with elegant three dimensional, highly-detailed depictions of the brain, and computer technology exploded into every aspects of our lives including health care, the Gamma Knife was transformed into a medical marvel capable of targeting and treating the smallest abnormality anywhere in the brain with extreme precision, safety, reliability, and efficacy. Through rigorous research, clinical trials, and more than one million patients treated, Modern Radiosurgery has become a standard of care with unmatched outcomes for numerous brain lesions.

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