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South Nassau’s Newest Advancement to Treat Brain Tumors

Based on the successful treatment of more than 1,000 patients since 2001 with Gamma Knife® radiosurgery, South Nassau Communities Hospital recently upgraded to the Gamma Knife Perfexion™.

The Gamma Knife Perfexion system is the latest advancement in noninvasive radiosurgery treatment of tumors and abnormalities in the brain. South Nassau Communities Hospital was the first on Long Island to offer the Gamma Knife and is now the first on Long Island to offer the Gamma Knife Perfexion.

“The Gamma Knife proved to be of great benefit to the communities we serve because it enabled us to provide the premiere treatment for the array of life-threatening and serious brain diseases,” said Edward Mullen, MD, director of radiation oncology and co-medical director of the Long Island Gamma Knife® at South Nassau’s Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center. “Based on the patient outcomes and the community’s continued need for the technology, we acted quickly to upgrade to the new system.”

With the Gamma Knife Perfexion, South Nassau’s Gamma Knife team has the capability to treat a broad scope of disorders, including tumors at the base of the skull, lesions in the sinuses, eye socket and neck and multiple metastatic (cancerous) tumors, deep-seated tumors and tumors close to arteries, nerves or other vital structures.

The Gamma Knife Perfexion will also be used to treat benign tumors such as acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, and pituitary adenomas; functional disorders including trigeminal neuralgia; arteriovenous malformations; and other neurological conditions such as intractable cancer pain as well as essential tremors.

The Gamma Knife Perfexion delivers a single, precise, high dose of ionizing radiation deep into the brain to destroy the tumor or lesion while protecting healthy surrounding tissue. The procedure can provide hope to patients for whom traditional brain surgery or radiation therapy are not options.

“Since Gamma Knife Perfexion surgery is non-invasive, the lengthy hospital stays associated with brain surgery are avoided,” said Michael Brisman, MD, co-medical director of the Long Island Gamma Knife. “Patients return home the same day of treatment, and can usually resume their normal activities, including working and driving, the next day.”

There is little risk of potential morbidity, such as hemorrhage and infection, which are associated with conventional surgery. More than 30 years of clinical studies documented in more than 2,500 published medical papers have revealed the effectiveness of Gamma Knife surgery. Studies show that local control – meaning the specific tumor treated does not return – exceeds an average of 85% for the management of tumors in any brain location.

In addition to the Gamma Knife Perfexion, South Nassau’s Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center is equipped with the Novalis Tx™ (which performs radiosurgery on a malignancy or benign lesion located anywhere in the body in a matter of minutes, and often in five or fewer treatment sessions) and the da Vinci® Surgical System (which helps surgeons perform complex surgeries with refined dexterity, precision and control, through small incisions). The center is the only one on Long Island that is equipped with all of these technologies, which are three of the most advanced and effective at treating and eradicating cancer.

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