By Healthtrip Team Blog Published on - 22 August - 2022

Understanding the Differences Between the Gamma Knife and CyberKnife


Those who need to undergo brain surgery for tumor removal might get overwhelmed by the thought of having surgery. Fortunately, in recent times, there are medical treatments that can be used as an alternative to the open brain surgery approach. The Cyberknife and Gamma Knife are considered such options. Both are effective treatment options for those who do not want to endure the risk of conventional brain surgery. Here we’ve covered the difference between the two so that when the time comes, you can consider the differences to make an informed decision.

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Differences between the Cyberknife and Gamma knife

Both Gamma-Knife and CyberKnife ( X-Knife) are advanced technologies, but they use different radiation delivery methods: the former uses Gamma rays and the latter uses X-rays. The primary goal of Gamma-Knife and Cyberknife is to destroy the tumor, with the same outcome as surgery but without the surgery.

Among the significant differences between them are:

  • Gamma-Knife requires a large metal frame that is screwed onto the patient's head before and during treatment. However, X-Knife is a non-invasive and painless treatment. During the treatment, the patient lies comfortably on the bed.
  • Unlike Gamma-Knife, X-Knife does not require local anesthesia during the procedure.
  • In 1-5 radiation sessions, the X-Knife can treat tumors anywhere in the body. In contrast, Gamma-Knife can only cure brain or cervical spine cancer with a single high-dose treatment session.

How do they work?

To understand the differences between the CyberKnife and Gamma Knife treatment protocols, one must first understand how both procedures are carried out. While Gamma Knife requires a head frame, CyberKnife uses an extremely precise monitoring system to update the position of the body in real-time, allowing the CyberKnife robotics to accurately compensate for normal patient movement. This makes CyberKnife much more patient-friendly because it eliminates awkward head frames and other types of body movement restraints.

Because the Gamma Knife requires a head frame, imaging, planning, and treatment must all take place on the same day. While the patient is in the hospital with the mounted head frame in place, the treatment plan will be developed.

When the plan is complete, the patient is strapped to a table and given a single, powerful dose of radiation.

The CyberKnife treatment allows for greater flexibility in the elimination of cancerous cells. The treatment plan, as well as all imaging and scans, are completed days before treatment begins. Following the scans, the radiation oncologist and medical physicist will devise a personalized treatment plan. CyberKnife can be administered in one to five sessions because patients do not need a head frame. CyberKnife, like Gamma Knife, can treat tumors with a single, high dose of radiation, but this isn't always the best option. Clinical data shows that fractioned-dose radiation administered over two to five sessions produces better results for certain cancerous and non-cancerous conditions.

What are the conditions treated by Gamma Knife or Cyber-Knife?

  • A brain tumor is commonly used in both malignant (brain metastases) and benign brain tumors (meningioma). If cancer spreads from the brain to other parts of the body, other treatment options are available (brain metastases).
  • AVM (arteriovenous malformation) is a disruption in the arteries and veins of the brain that disrupts the normal flow of blood and causes bleeding (hemorrhage) or stroke.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder that prevents sensory information from being relayed between the brain and facial parts. It causes pain that feels similar to an electric shock.
  • Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumor that typically develops in the hearing nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain. Hearing loss is common in people with acoustic neuromas.
  • The pituitary gland is in charge of hormonal control and regulates a variety of functions, including stress, metabolism, and sexual function. A pituitary tumor can be operated on with the Gamma Knife or CyberKnife.

How can we help with the treatment?

If you are in search of minimally invasive brain tumor surgery options in India, our medical trip advisors will serve as your guide throughout the treatment. They will be physically present with you even before the medical treatment begins. The following will be provided to you:

  • Opinions of expert physicians and surgeons
  • Transparent communication
  • Coordinated care
  • Prior appointment with specialists
  • Assistance with hospital formalities
  • 24*7 availability
  • Arrangement for travel
  • Assistance for accommodation and healthy recovery
  • Assistance in emergencies

We are dedicated to offering the highest quality medical tourism in India to our patients. We have a team of highly qualified and devoted health trip advisors who will be by your side from the beginning of your journey.


The alternatives are CyberKnife and Gamma Knife treatments, both of which offer non-surgical options for tumor removal.
CyberKnife uses X-rays, while Gamma Knife uses Gamma rays for radiation delivery.Gamma Knife requires a head frame, while CyberKnife is non-invasive and painless.
Yes, Gamma Knife treatment requires a large metal frame screwed onto the patient's head during treatment.
CyberKnife treatment is non-invasive and painless, allowing patients to lie comfortably on the treatment bed.
The CyberKnife system uses precise monitoring to update the patient's position in real-time, ensuring accuracy during treatment.
Gamma Knife requires imaging, planning, and treatment on the same day, while CyberKnife allows for planning days before treatment.
CyberKnife can treat tumors in one to five sessions, without the need for a head frame.
Both treatments can address brain tumors, AVM, trigeminal neuralgia, acoustic neuroma, and pituitary tumors.
Yes, both treatments can address both malignant (brain metastases) and benign tumors (e.g., meningioma).
Medical trip advisors offer expert opinions, coordination, appointments with specialists, travel arrangements, and 24/7 support for a smooth experience.
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