NHS - Gamma Knife

Vascular Malformations



 These are abnormal collections of blood vessels within the brain. In treating these with radiosurgery our aim is to obliterate the blood vessels to prevent haemorrhage in the future.



They are abnormal collections of sinusoidal veins without intervening brain tissue.  They may present with bleed, epilepsy or they are found incidentally.


Radiosurgery can be used to treat a range of tumours, many of which are benign.

The main groups being:

Neuroma's - Tumours associated with nerves within the brain.
Meningioma's - Tumours arrising from the outer covering of the brain.
Pituitary Adenoma's - Tumours within the pituitary gland.


Radiosurgery for functional conditions requires the irradiation of selected targets to correct abnormal neurological symptoms.

The initial use of stereotactic radiosurgery, in Professor Lars Leksell's pioneering treatments, was for lesion generation (creating a small area of damage with very high radiation dose) in functional neurosurgical procedures. Examples of these were movement disorders or medically intractable pain, where a tiny area was “coagulated” with radiation.

The approach these days is to give a much smaller radiation dose, to alter function rather than cause tissue damage. This technique is used in selected cases, the commonest being trigeminal neuralgia and epilepsy.