Gamma Knife radiosurgery is supported by 60 years of research, development, and clinical use. Lars Leksell, a Swedish neurosurgeon, coined the term “radiosurgery” and started to develop the technique that would become Gamma Knife radiosurgery in the early 1950’s.
The Stereotactic Gamma Unit, later to be known as the Gamma Knife became operational at the Sophihemmet Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1968. It was designed to treat functional disorders such as the tremor of Parkinson’s disease. Realizing its potential to treat other intracranial lesions such as tumors and arteriovenous malformations (AVM’s) a second Gamma Knife unit was built in 1974 and installed at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) and became an integral part of the neurosurgical service there. The first Gamma Knife unit in the United States was installed at the University of Pittsburgh in 1987. Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola is the first Gamma Knife center in Northwest Florida and on the Gulf Coast.