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South Nassau’s LI Gamma Knife® Treats its 1000th Patient

South Nassau Communities Hospital recently achieved an unprecedented milestone for hospitals on Long Island, treating its 1000th patient with Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technology.

“When we invested in this life-saving technology, it was with the knowledge that it would be of great benefit to the communities we serve because it enabled us to provide the gold standard treatment for the array of life-threatening and serious brain malformations and conditions,” said Edward Mullen, MD, South Nassau’s chair of radiation oncology and co-medical director of Long Island Gamma Knife.

The Gamma Knife has become a well-accepted standard of care in the treatment of benign tumors such as acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, and pituitary adenomas; malignant tumors, including intracranial metastases and primary brain tumors; functional disorders including trigeminal neuralgia; arteriovenous malformations; and other intracranial targets. In 2010, South Nassau’s Gamma Knife team of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, physicists, and nurses expanded the use of the technology to treat intractable cancer pain as well as essential tremors.

Additionally, the Gamma Knife can be considered for masses that are small or large, single or multiple, benign or malignant, with or without surrounding edema, with or without standard surgery or radiation, with tissue or radiographic diagnosis, in children or adults, in the brain, orbits, or paranasal sinuses.

The Gamma Knife has 201 cobalt beams that intersect to provide a dose of precise radiation equal to 20-30 traditional radiation treatments, in one 45-minute session. Because of the very steep fall-off of the radiation field outside the specified target area, the dose to immediately surrounding tissue is minimized.

Since Gamma Knife surgery is minimally invasive, the lengthy hospital stays associated with brain surgery are avoided. Patients return home the same day of treatment, and can usually resume their normal activities, including working and driving, within days. There is little risk of potential morbidity, such as hemorrhage and infection, which is associated with conventional surgery. More than 30 years of clinical studies documented in more than 1,500 published, peer-reviewed articles have shown that Gamma Knife surgery has clear benefits compared to traditional neurosurgery.

“This accomplishment is attributable to our team’s acumen and experience and commitment to maximizing the benefits of the technology and providing standard-setting, compassionate care,” said Michael Brisman, MD, co-medical director of the Long Island Gamma Knife.

For additional information on the Long Island Gamma Knife, or to arrange for an evaluation, please call 1-866-LI-GAMMA.

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