Radiosurgery is a non-invasive procedure that uses targeted radiation to eradicate lesions and tumors in the brain.
A leader in the field of minimally invasive neurosurgery, Dr. Peter Nakaji performs radiosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute, serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities. Our institute is equipped with the most advanced radiosurgery technologies, including CyberKnife® and Gamma Knife®. These sophisticated tools, combined with Dr. Nakaji's unparalleled experience treating complex and rare brain disorders, draws patients from around the world to seek treatment at our practice.
To learn more, contact our office today.
Types of Radiosurgery
Dr. Nakaji works with the Gamma Knife® Center at Barrow Neurological Institute to treat a variety of brain disorders, including benign and malignant tumors, and vascular abnormalities. The Gamma Knife® uses 192 beams of radiation to target abnormal cells in the brain. On their own, each of these beams is too weak to damage healthy tissue, but when the beams converge at a focal point, they are able to safely treat diseased tissue.
Before a patient receives treatment using the Gamma Knife®, a frame will be attached to their head, stabilizing it and ensuring the radiation affects only a precisely chosen treatment area. During treatment, sophisticated imaging technology is used to correctly focus the beams.
The CyberKnife® method also uses converging radiation beams to treat soft tissue, but does not require a stabilizing frame during surgery. Instead, a robotic machine is guided by bony "landmarks" on the skull. The robot uses real-time imaging and data collected during treatment, adjusting to a patient's slight movements so the focal point converges only on diseased tissue.
Additional radiosurgery platforms include the Novalis®, XKnife®, and Proton Beam methods. Each type of radiosurgery varies slightly in the way they apply radiation. However, each similarly focuses several radiation beams to eliminate diseased tissues, while preserving surrounding healthy tissues. By having access to multiple systems, Dr. Nakaji can choose the system that is right for your condition.
Radiosurgery is extremely safe and effective in treating a range of neurological diseases, including:
- Trigeminal Neuralgia - This disorder can cause intense facial pain. Radiosurgery targets the trigeminal nerve to alleviate the pain.
- Meningioma - A meningioma is a tumor that grows from the membranes that surround the brain. They can be benign or malignant. Some smaller tumors respond to radiosurgery without open surgery.
- Cavernous Sinus Disorders - Radiosurgery can address several diseases that affect the cavernous sinus, or area behind the eyes. These diseases include meningiomas, schwannomas, aneurysms, and pituitary tumors.
- Metastatic Brain Tumors - Metastatic brain tumors are a secondary product of a cancer elsewhere in the body. When a cancer metastasizes, abnormal tissue travels to other areas of the body, including the brain, and creates a new cancerous mass. The ability of radiosurgery to concentrate the dose makes this an effective treatment for many metastatic brain tumors.
- Primary Brain Tumors - Primary brain tumors can be benign or malignant; radiosurgery is sometimes used as an adjunct.
- Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) - Arteriovenous malformations are abnormal connections between arteries and veins in the brain. These defects can compromise blood flow in certain areas, while some blood vessels receive excessive blood flow that can cause them to burst. A subset of these malformations can be treated with radiosurgery alone. Dr. Nakaji has extensive experience with the radiosurgical treatment of AVM.
Radiosurgery's non-invasive nature offers numerous benefits to our patients. Not all brain conditions are treatable using this method, but Dr. Nakaji can determine whether you are a good candidate during a thorough examination.
Successfully treating a potentially life-threatening condition like brain disease begins with choosing a trusted, reputable surgeon like Dr. Nakaji. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the treatment options that are available to you.