Gamma Knife® Icon™ (Stereotactic Radiosurgery)

Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute offers stereotactic radiotherapy using Gamma Knife, considered the gold standard in radiosurgery.

Gamma Knife can treat difficult-to-reach tumors of the brain and head with less radiation than other therapies.

Rick Franzo's Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery with Gamma Knife

The hour long treatment had Rick home the same day and back to work after a few days of rest.

For more than 30 years, Gamma Knife® has been considered the gold standard in radiosurgery (as published in the Journal of Neurosurgery), by offering a safe, precise option for treating cancerous and non-cancerous conditions of the brain. Next-generation Gamma Knife® Icon™ can treat even more – and harder to reach – tumors. You can receive treatment with Gamma Knife Icon at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, part of Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute. The Cancer Institute was the first in the Lehigh Valley area to offer this sophisticated technology.

Gamma Knife advantages

The Gamma Knife Icon device provides ultra-precise microradiosurgery capabilities that limits radiation dosage to healthy tissue. It is a noninvasive alternative to conventional neurosurgery, whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) or intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Patients treated with Gamma Knife stereotactic radiotherapy can remain awake during treatment and go home the same day as treatment. We have treated more than 1,400 patients using Gamma Knife at the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest.

Safer and more precise

  • Less radiation exposure than alternative technologies.
  • A radiation source – Cobalt 60 – designed to pinpoint selected treatment areas, while reducing risk for damage to surrounding tissue.
  • Low risk for complications and side effects because there are no incisions.

Now with Gamma Knife Icon we have improved patient comfort with frameless treatments available. This means we don’t always have to use the head frame, which can cause discomfort and anxiety for some patients. 

And because setup for Gamma Knife is rapid and the treatment of one or more tumors occurs in a single session, you will return home to the people who matter most to you on the very same day.

Treatment details

  • Treatment sessions take approximately 15-60 minutes depending on condition being treated.
  • Most patients return to their daily routine in three to five days.
  • Radiation shielding levels are 10 times better than alternative technologies.
  • The size and shape of the radiation source – Cobalt 60 – is optimized to hit only selected targets, which minimizes the risk of damage to surrounding tissue.
  • Since no incisions are made, the risk for complications is low, and serious side effects are rare.
  • Pain control may be achieved using intravenous (IV) sedation and topical anesthetics.

Another advantage of the new Gamma Knife Icon technology is its infrared monitoring system. This feature automatically halts treatment if the patient moves a fraction of a millimeter during treatment delivery. 

Is Gamma Knife right for you?

Your doctor will examine you and analyze your test results to decide if Gamma Knife Icon is the best course of treatment for your condition. Gamma Knife Icon can treat a variety of malignant and benign conditions, including:

  • Primary and metastatic brain tumors (including paraspinal)
  • Glial tumors
  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Pinealomas
  • Craniopharyngiomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Chordomas
  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux)

If your doctor recommends treatment with Gamma Knife, a member of our nursing team will review the entire process with you prior to your procedure. Be sure to ask any questions you may have during that conversation. 

Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute's Gamma Knife experience

Skilled in Gamma Knife since 2004, our providers have each performed hundreds of these procedures. Our extensive Gamma Knife experience has led to a well-honed team consisting of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and a dedicated Gamma Knife nurse, who surround the patient with support before, during and after the procedure.

We know you want to see a specialist quickly. For most, we can schedule an appointment within a week for an initial assessment or for a second opinion.

Questions and referral

Always consult your doctor if you have questions about your condition. Your doctor also can provide you with contact information for patient organizations and websites relevant to your diagnosis. For questions about Gamma Knife or for a referral to a doctor on our treatment team, please call 888-402-LVHN (5846).

Our location

Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute offers big-city innovation – like Gamma Knife Icon – in a close-to-home setting with convenient free parking. Our Gamma Knife program resides on the ground floor of the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Allentown, Pa.

If you travel to Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest from out of town, our Hackerman-Patz House provides affordable, on-campus lodging just steps from where you would receive Gamma Knife care.

Download our free guide

Learn more in our free guide, covering questions like what Gamma Knife is to how it protects healthy tissue.

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