Skip to Main Content

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Appointments

Request an appointment online or
call us. 305-243-6946

During gamma knife radiosurgery, experts use intense beams of gamma rays to treat brain tumors and neurological conditions. As a type of radiation therapy, the procedure does not use traditional surgery nor an actual knife. Expert neurosurgeons at the University of Miami Health System use gamma knife radiosurgery to successfully treat a variety of conditions that affect the brain.

What Conditions Does Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Treat?


Gamma knife radiosurgery can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Blood vessel malformations: a cluster of abnormal blood vessels that connect arteries and veins within the brain
  • Brain tumor: an abnormal growth in the brain that can impact normal brain function
  • Epilepsy: nervous system disorder that causes ongoing seizures
  • Parkinson’s disease: progressive disorder that causes problems with movement
  • Trigeminal neuralgia: chronic (long-lasting) pain condition that affects the nerve that carries sensation from your face to the brain, called the trigeminal nerve

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Who is a Candidate?


If you have one of the neurological conditions listed above, you may be a candidate to undergo gamma knife radiosurgery. Your doctor will be able to advise you.

What to Expect


You may undergo gamma knife radiosurgery on an outpatient basis — meaning you’ll return home the same day of your procedure — or you may receive it as an inpatient in the hospital (staying overnight). You will likely be under light anesthesia for the procedure, meaning that you’ll be given medicine to help you relax.

 

Once the anesthesia has taken effect and you are laying on the operating table, your head will be placed in either a box-shaped head frame or a custom-made face mask. The frame or mask ensures that your head remains completely still during the procedure.

 

Your neurosurgeon begins by taking imaging of your brain using computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). After the brain imaging is complete, you can relax while your neurosurgical team formulates your gamma ray treatment plan. This typically takes 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the complexities of your condition. Once your treatment plan is determined, the team inputs specific instructions into a computer system that controls the gamma rays, which ensures pinpoint accuracy and precision specific to your condition and individual needs.

 

Once the specialized computer has been programmed with the details of your gamma ray treatment, you will be taken to the surgical room with the gamma knife machine. You will lie down on a sliding table with your head towards the machine. A surgical tech or nurse will then slowly slide your head into the opening of the gamma knife machine.

 

A treatment session lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. During treatment, gamma rays will pinpoint the areas of the brain that is affected by the tumor or neurological condition. You shouldn’t feel anything during the treatment. Throughout the entire treatment, your neurosurgeon and team will monitor you within the gamma knife machine via live video feed and intercom. The machine is silent, and you won’t hear anything as your treatment occurs. Once your treatment is complete, you will slide out of the machine, and your head frame or facemask will be removed.

 

When your procedure is outpatient, you can expect to spend a couple of hours at the hospital for careful observation, and should bring a responsible adult with you to drive you home. In most cases, you can resume your normal activities later that same day. You can resume strenuous exercise within 24 hours. You may experience some mild side effects, including headache, nausea, numbness or weakness in your face, balance problems, or vision problems. Your neurosurgeon may be able to prescribe medicine to help.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care