Medical Center upgrades to newest technology in stereotactic radiosurgery

HERSHEY, Pa. — The team at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has upgraded to the newest technology in cranial radiosurgery, enhancing its abilities to target brain tumors and functional disorders.

Leksell Gamma Knife Icon allows experts to treat areas once considered too risky for radiosurgery. The outpatient procedure can be performed in a few hours, and the patient returns home the same day.

“Icon gives us the ability to treat virtually any target within the brain,” said Dr. James McInerney, director of stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at Hershey Medical Center. “This includes larger tumors, metastatic tumors and those close to critical parts of the brain.”

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a minimally invasive treatment that focuses 192 beams of radiation on specific areas within the brain, destroying diseased or abnormal tissue with precision while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. It can be used to treat benign and malignant tumors, blood vessel malformations, trigeminal neuralgia and lesions that cause epilepsy. Treatment involves no incision, is much shorter than conventional surgery and causes virtually no discomfort.

“Stereotactic radiosurgery includes several features to ensure the patient receives a precise and accurate dose of radiation,” said Dr. Heath Mackley, a radiation oncologist at Penn State Cancer Institute. “As a result, our experienced neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists can provide advanced care that allows patients with complex conditions to enjoy a high quality of life.”

Specialists at Hershey Medical Center began performing Gamma Knife procedures in April 2006. Over the past 10 years, they have treated more than 1,500 patients using Gamma Knife technology.

“We’re glad to have had the opportunity to help so many patients over the past decade, and excited about what the new technology will allow us to do,” McInerney said.

Learn more about Gamma Knife Icon here.

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Last Updated October 25, 2016