Dr. Ronald Brisman spoke at the 17th International Meeting of the Leksell Gamma Knife Society at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City on May 12, 2014. He emphasized that Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (GKRS) is an excellent treatment for medically intractable trigeminal neuralgia (pain that is not satisfactorily managed with non-bothersome doses of medicines) after recurrence following a different procedure (such as a radiofrequency/glycerol needle procedure, microvascular decompression or a previous Gamma Knife radiosurgery) or for an initial procedure. However, for optimum minimally invasive management of medically intractable trigeminal neuralgia, he advises neurosurgeons to have available not only Gamma Knife radiosurgery, but also needle rhizotomy (radiofrequency and/or glycerol) as well as the judicious use of non-bothersome medications.
The Leksell Gamma Knife Society is an international society of neurosurgeons that meets every two years to promote improvements in the use of radiosurgery.
Lars Leksell (1907-1986) was a Swedish neurosurgeon who invented radiosurgery. In 1951, Leksell and the radiobiologist Borje Larsson developed the concept of radiosurgery using gamma rays directed into a small area of the brain. The Gamma Knife, a special device to precisely deliver radioactive cobalt sources, was developed in 1968. The Leksell Gamma Knife is manufactured by Elekta Instruments AB, a Swedish company.
Between 1968 and 2011, 43,400 treatments for trigeminal neuralgia have been done world-wide with the Leksell Gamma Knife. Three thousand eight hundred were done in the year 2011 according to data provided by the Leksell Gamma Knife Society. Between 1998 and 2014, Dr. Ronald Brisman has done 976 Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatments for Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is also done for brain tumors and vascular malformations. Between 1968 and 2011, 676,000 Gamma Knife treatments (for all conditions) were done world-wide and 65,000 were done in the year 2011.