Leksell Gamma Knife® Model C

The Gamma Knife is not really a knife at all but a non-invasive treatment for patients with deep brain tumors and abnormal blood vessels in the brain. A single dose of gamma radiation is directed by highly sophisticated computer technology. The radiation treats the tumors and abnormal blood vessel formations in the brain without harming adjacent normal tissue.

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital has provided gamma knife services since 2000. It enables the hospital to treat patients with tumors and other problems that probably could not have been treated without this technology.

Cancer Services

Cancer Services

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield offers more specialists, research, medical innovation and support services than any Central Wisconsin cancer center, all nearby and easily accessible from the comfortable, familiar surroundings of home. Cancer patients can gain access to more than 80 cancer clinical trials and a team of more than 40 specially trained oncology physicians.



The Neurosciences program at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield encompasses expert care of:

  • stroke
  • epilepsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • sleep disorders
  • multiple sclerosis 
  • other less common diseases and disorders affecting the central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral (senses, muscles, and organs) nervous systems



Elekta is a world-leading supplier of advanced and innovative radiation oncology and neurosurgery solutions and services for precise treatment of cancer and brain disorders.


International RadioSurgery Association (IRSA)

IRSA is an non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational information on: Gamma Knife Surgery, Linac Radiosurgery, IMRT, and other specialized radiation treatments to patients, insurers, referring physicians, and regulatory agencies. IRSA provides support, education, and referrals for people seeking treatment worldwide.


Who can benefit from the surgery?

The treatment can benefit patients with:

  • Malignant or benign brain tumors
  • Acoustic Neuromas Pituitary tumors
  • Meningiomas Abnormal blood vessels in the brain ( arteriovenous malformations )
  • Brain Metastasis
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
 How does it work?
Through advanced imaging and three-dimensional planning techniques, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery delivers multiple, very narrow beams of gamma radiation to small targets inside the brain. It does so by sending radiation beams through 201 holes in a device known as a collimator helmet. Only at the point where all 201 beams converge at a single, finely focused point is enough radiation delivered to treat the diseased tissue while nearby healthy tissue is spared.

What is the advantage to the patient?

The Radiosurgery is non-invasive. There is no incision or surgery. There is a short recovery time and the hospital stay is generally only one day. The procedure is extremely precise. The radiation is focused on the "bad tissue" and spares surrounding "good tissue." There is minimal risk to the patient of post-treatment complications. It allows previously untreatable conditions to be successfully treated. There is a high cure rate. It is painless, and patients can return to regular daily living usually within a couple of days.

 Is it safe?
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is unique because no surgical incision is performed to "expose" the lesion. Thus, the risk of surgical complication is greatly reduced. Patients are routinely administered a mild sedative, eliminating the side effects of general anesthesia.
 Is it cost effective?
Cost studies have shown that when compared to conventional neurosurgery, the Gamma Knife is much less expensive. It eliminates lengthy post-surgical hospital stays and expensive medication. In addition, there are virtually no post-surgical disability and convalescent costs with this procedure.

How unique is it?

The technology has been around for about 40 years, and nearly 600,000 procedures have been performed. Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital had the first unit in Wisconsin, and has performed more than 800 procedures. 


Where can I get more information?

Call Radiation/Oncology at 877.GAMMAWI ( 877.426.6294 ) or 715.387.7637. Ask for Linda Weis-Smith or Joan Priem. You can also email us at: sjhweb@stjosephs-marshfield.org

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