Gamma Knife Compared with Craniotomy, LINAC

In traditional surgery, the skull is opened in an operation called a craniotomy. The tumor or abnormality is then removed by cutting. In contrast, Gamma Knife® surgery does not remove the tumor or lesion, but rather damages the DNA of the cells involved. The goal of this approach is to arrest tumor growth by killing these cells. Over time, the tumor may dissolve or shrink in size.

Treatment with a modified linear accelerator (also called LINAC) is in some ways similar to the Gamma Knife, but is less precise due to the technology involved. A linear accelerator moves along multiple arcs to deliver its radiation to a targeted area while the Gamma Knife uses 192 separate beams of radiation.

However, some tumors are not appropriate for the Gamma Knife. These can include large tumors (generally 4cm or larger), or those that the Gamma Knife cannot reach because of their location. Such tumors maybe appropriate for linear accelerator treatment, or in other cases, surgery followed by Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.

In many, although not all cases, Gamma Knife surgery offers advantages over CyberKnife.


Gamma Knife® is a registered trademark of Elekta Group.

The MyMichigan Difference

  • MyMichigan Medical Center Midland is a leader in neuroscience and cancer care in the state of Michigan.
  • MyMichigan Health's Gamma Knife Perfexion is the only machine of its kind in Michigan.
  • Our board-certified neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists are specially trained and experienced in Gamma Knife radiosurgery.
  • Our Gamma Knife Staff will serve as your personal guide, walking you and your family through each step of the treatment process.
  • MyMichigan Health is located in Midland, Michigan, a safe and friendly suburban community with easy highway and airport access. It is conveniently located for patients in Michigan and the mid-west.
  • MyMichigan Health provides hospitality services for Gamma Knife patients including lodging and other amenities. Maps and driving directions are also available.
  • We work with your physician throughout the evaluation and treatment process, and will continue to be available for consultation with your physician during your follow-up care.

Is Gamma Knife Right for You?

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(866) 644-2662

Gamma Knife treats brain conditions with pinpoint accuracy that surgical interventions can’t match. Call our Gamma Knife office to arrange a no-obligation personalized review of your case. Our Gamma Knife Staff can also answer your questions about costs and insurance, treatment, transportation and lodging.

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