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Gamma Knife

Since the invention of the Gamma Knife at Karolinska in the 1960s, we are the only hospital in the world with more than 50 years of experience treating patients with the device.
Bild av gammakniven på Karolinska i Solna.
Image of the gamma knife at Karolinska in Solna. Photo: Fredric Möller Eklund.


Around 500 patients from all over the world are treated using the Karolinska Gamma Knife annually. Conditions that can be treated using the Gamma Knife include benign and malignant brain tumors, vascular malformations, and trigeminal neuralgia. O

ur Gamma Knife is a very precise radiosurgery device with up-to-date modern technology. It may be used as an alternative to surgery or when traditional brain surgery is not an option. The procedure does not require a surgical opening through the skull – thereby avoiding complications associated with surgery or anesthesia. The patient is typically awake but does not feel anything while undergoing Gamma Knife treatment. The patient can even choose to listen to music or sleep.  
Gamma Knife treatment is performed by a team of neurosurgeons, radiooncologists, neuroradiologists, physicists, and nurses. The procedure is continuously monitored, and the patient can communicate with a nurse using an audio connection.  
The Gamma Knife was invented at Karolinska by Professor Lars Leksell in the 1950s-1960s, and the device used at Karolinska today is the only one in Sweden. Professor Leksell started treating patients with the Gamma Knife device already in 1968, which is why Karolinska is the only hospital in the world with more than 50 years of experience treating patients with the Gamma Knife.  
Karolinska is one of only three centers in the world to be the first to use a new frame developed for Gamma Knife treatment. The new frame is very beneficial for the patient and can potentially improve diagnostics and shorten examinations. Due to a close partnership with Elekta (the innovative tech company specializing in precision radiation therapy solutions), Karolinska plays an active role in developing and improving the Gamma Knife.

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