Tumor / Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

UBNS specializes in treating brain tumors in both children and adults. As with all tumors, early diagnosis and treatment is of the utmost importance.

Brain tumors compress and invade crucial brain structures as they grow, giving rise to progressive neurological disturbances. Early signs of a brain tumor should be suspected whenever a patient presents with slowly evolving neurological signs and symptoms, particularly those itemized below:

  • Intense headaches, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting or worse in the morning
  • Seizures of recent onset, generalized or focal
  • Personality changes, mental sluggishness or memory loss
  • Visual complaints, such as blurred or double vision, or an enlarged blind spot
  • Hearing loss
  • Lack of coordination or localized physical weakness
  • “Stroke-like” symptoms—particularly in the elderly
  • Increasing head size (in children)

Sometimes, tumors may not become noticeable until after they bleed or when they reach a large size, often depending on their rate of growth.

Pituitary Tumors

Tumors that arise in the pituitary gland are very commonly benign in character. Nevertheless, they may cause serious neurological symptoms by compressing nerves that are critical for vision. In addition, invasion of local structures around the pituitary gland can make complete removal difficult or impossible.

Pituitary tumors can also affect the patient’s general physical well-being by altering the balance of hormones in the body. This can occur as a result of excessive production of certain hormones by the tumor itself or by compression of the normal gland by the tumor with resulting underproduction of pituitary hormones. This, in turn, can lead to overproduction or deficiencies in the production of hormones by the thyroid and adrenal glands, and by the ovaries and testes.

Some symptoms of a pituitary tumor include:

  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Diminished peripheral vision
  • Severe fatigue
  • Excessive thirst combined with frequent urination
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Milk production from the breasts when not pregnant
  • Loss of normal menstrual periods
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Impotence
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Progressive coarsening of facial features
  • Excessive sweating
  • Steady increase in glove or shoe size

Pituitary tumors are best diagnosed using a MRI scan and specific blood tests of pituitary hormone levels.

Although medication can be used to treat certain pituitary tumors, surgery is frequently required. The typical pituitary tumor is removed by way of a “transphenoidal” operation. In this minimally invasive procedure, surgery is performed through one nostril using a microscope and without the need for any externally visible incisions. Certain other pituitary tumors may be treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery or with conventional radiation therapy.

Gamma Knife Surgery

Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery is a technique that utilizes 201 separate beams of gamma radiation energy, all precisely directed at a single point. The Gamma Knife is used to treat benign and malignant brain tumors, as well as other brain disorders. Gamma Knife radiosurgery combines modern methods in neuroradiology (MRI, CT and cerebral angiography) with sophisticated computer technology to localize and target brain lesions with gamma rays. The precise targeting of Gamma Knife radiation in a single large dose makes it as effective as conventional surgery for certain brain conditions, but with potentially fewer serious risks.

The Gamma Knife Center at Roswell Park is a major community-based resource for the application of state-of-the-art radiosurgery in Western New York. Treatment is provided by our neurosurgeons as well as radiation oncologists and neuroradiologists working together as part of UBNS’ multidisciplinary brain tumor team.

Brain tumor treatment is highly individualized. Although not appropriate for everyone, many patients benefit from having stereotactic radiosurgery as part of their overall treatment plan.

The main tumor types that are potentially treatable with Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery include:

  • Metastatic brain tumor
  • Gliomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Craniopharyngiomas
  • Skull Base Tumors

Meet our Pediatric Neurosurgery Physicians

Elad I. Levy

MD MBA FACS FAHA, Chairman

Clinical Team

Neuroendovascular & Stroke

Office Location(s)

40 George Karl Blvd, Suite 100 Williamsville, NY 14221

716.218.1000

Gregory J. Castiglia

MD FACS

Clinical Team

Spine & Skull Base Disorders

Office Location(s)

40 George Karl Blvd, Suite 100 Williamsville, NY 14221

716.218.1000

Jason M. Davies

MD PhD

Clinical Team

Minimally Invasive Brain Endoscopy

Neuroendovascular & Stroke

Office Location(s)

1001 Main St. 4th Floor Buffalo, NY 14203

40 George Karl Blvd, Suite 100 Williamsville, NY 14221

716.218.1000

John G. Fahrbach, IV

MD

Clinical Team

Spine & Skull Base Disorders

Office Location(s)

40 George Karl Blvd, Suite 100 Williamsville, NY 14221

716.218.1000

WNY Locations

  • General Physicians, PC

  • John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital

  • Erie County Medical Center

  • Buffalo General Medical Center

  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Gates Vascular Institute

  • Summit Park Office Complex

  • Oishei Children’s Outpatient Center

  • Brook Bridge Medical Complex

  • Conventus Building

  • Comprehensive Neuroscience Center

Surgical Locations:  Sisters of Charity Hospital, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Kenmore Mercy Hospital

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Publications | August 14, 2020

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The Professional and Personal Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on US Neurointerventional Practices: A Nationwide Survey

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Dr. Davies awarded the UB CTSA KL2 grant

The KL2 Research Career Development Program supports state-of-the-art clinical and translational research and provides young investigators with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform high-impact research and succeed in today’s highly competitive research environment.  

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