Care at NUH

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery


Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery that uses computer-guided planning and radiation. It is used to treat primary and secondary brain tumours, vascular abnormalities and other lesions in the brain. Neurosurgeons worldwide have applied this radiosurgical approach for over five decades. Unlike traditional open brain surgery, this radiosurgery technique utilises precise gamma rays without the need for an incision or general anaesthesia. Consequently, the risks of bleeding, morbidity, and mortality are significantly lower compared to open surgery. 

Using three-dimensional computerised imaging, a highly concentrated dose of gamma radiation is delivered precisely to destroy the target cancerous cells or abnormal tissues. Tumours typically reduce in size over months or years, while lesions like abnormal tangles of blood vessels gradually close off. The main benefit of gamma knife radiosurgery is its high precision with minimal radiation impact on surrounding healthy tissues, through the use of a stereotactic frame. 

The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Nonetheless, an overnight hospital stay is sometimes required following treatment. While some patients may experience mild and temporary tenderness or swelling around the frame fixation sites post-treatment, most can resume their usual activities the following day. 

Our Team

An interdisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and physicist work closely to plan the radiosurgery as well as decide on the dose and positioning of the radiation.

Our Services
Gamma Service

The gamma knife radiosurgery may be the primary or secondary mode of treatment for certain brain lesions where surgical removal is not practical or desirable.  

Conditions that can be treated by gamma knife radiosurgery include: 

  • Benign and malignant brain tumours (e.g., metastases, acoustic neuromas/vestibular schwannomas, meningioma, central neurocytoma and others) 
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and arteriovenous fistula (AVF) 
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (a type of nerve disorder resulting in painful sensations on one side of the face) 
What to Expect At your First Appointment

At your first appointment, our neurosurgeon and/or radiation oncologist, specialising in stereotactic radiosurgery will perform a comprehensive review of your condition. We will also discuss your MRI scan and/or cerebral angiogram. 

On treatment day, the procedure involves four stages:

Frame fixation 

To ensure accuracy and stability, a stereotactic headframe will be fixed to your head with the application of local anaesthesia to ease the discomfort. 


Diagnostic imaging 

You will undergo a pre-treatment MRI scan to localise the target area in your brain. A diagnostic cerebral catheter angiogram will also be performed for AVM treatment. 


Computerised treatment planning  

Following the scan, you will rest in the recovery area while the neurosurgeon/radiation oncologist uses a computerised system to determine the dose and positioning of the radiation. 



You will lie down on the treatment couch in the gamma knife suite, with the stereotactic frame attached to the couch. The frame will be removed after the treatment, and you may be observed for a short period before going home. 

Contact Us
15a Surgical Specialists Centre
15a Surgical Specialists Centre (SSC)

Opening Hours
Mon - Fri: 8.30am to 5.30pm
Sat, Sun & PH: Closed

+65 6908 2222
+65 6772 5601
[email protected]

NUH Medical Centre
Zone B, Level 15

University Surgical Centre
University Surgical Centre (USC) (D05-02)

Opening Hours
Mon - Fri: 8.30am to 5.30pm
Sat, Sun & PH: Closed

+65 6908 2222
+65 6772 5083
[email protected]

NUH Kent Ridge Wing
Zone D, Level 5

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