Gamma knife surgery (GKS), a minimally invasive neurosurgical procedure, is usually used to treat benign and some malignant brain tumours, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and disorders of abnormal function such as trigeminal neuralgia (TN).

The gamma knife delivers a single high dose of ionizing radiation emanating from 201 cobalt-60 sources. The highly focused beams of gamma rays are guided with surgical precision, without a scalpel, and without the usual risks of open neurosurgery. Most patients return home the same day and resume full activities within one or two days.

Gamma knife surgery was established as a subspecialty program of Neurological Surgery in 2003 in Winnipeg, the home of Canada's first gamma knife and GKS program.

GKS has become a standard neurosurgical treatment option in many countries, wih aproximately 175 GKS centres worldwide treating over 25,000 annually. It is estimated that several thousand Canadians benefit from this treatment each year.

The safety and effectiveness of GKS has been carefully studied and documented in over 1500 specific papers.


Gamma Knife – The Patient Perspective

Gamma knife surgery (GKS) is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure to treat a variety of conditions of the brain. Some of these include brain tumours, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Treatment is delivered through 201 low dose rays of cobalt-60 radiation, which all converge on the targeted area. The point at which they converge becomes a highly concentrated site of radiation. The dose surrounding the target is low, minimizing damage to healthy brain tissue. Treatment doses and location are determined by the neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and medical physicist. All of these people are specially trained to work with the gamma knife unit.

You may be referred to our GKS centre by any of your doctors, or you may contact us yourself (see contact and referral information).

Our staff will review your medical information and review the treatment options with you. This may be done during an appointment at our clinic, or by long distance communications, including telephone, e-mail, fax, and telemedicine.

If GKS is selected as your preferred treatment option, our patient coordinators will help with scheduling your procedure. This will include a pre-GKS clinic appointment with the neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and GK nurse, as well as travel and accommodation arrangements, if required.


Patient Referral

Please contact our office at:

Winnipeg Centre for Gamma Knife Surgery

GB127C-820 Sherbrook Street

Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9


Tel: 204-787-7278

Toll Free: 1-866-426-6262 (1-866-GAMMAMA)

Fax: 204-787-3851 Email:

The Clinic Visit

During a pre-GKS clinic visit, you will have an interview and neurological examination and will receive further information about the procedure. You will be asked to review and sign a standard Health Sciences Centre consent form for surgery. You are encouraged to bring questions with you to this visit, or feel free to contact us at any time at 204-787-7278, or e-mail Eleanor Topacio: