May 23, 2022
Richmond, VA — The team at Johnston-Willis Hospital’s Brain and Spine Center successfully conducted its 5,000th Gamma Knife procedure, which is a sophisticated treatment for brain tumors and brain disorders. The HCA Virginia facility—the only Joint Commission Gold Seal brain tumor center in Virginia—first acquired its Gamma Knife in 2004. Since that time, neurosurgeons led by Dr. K. Singh Sahni have surpassed 5,000 procedures for patients with primary or metastatic brain tumors and neurological disorders, such as trigeminal neuralgia.
“Gamma Knife is a bit of a misnomer because the surgery doesn’t involve incisions,” said Sahni, the medical director of the Neuroscience and Gamma Knife Center at Johnston-Willis. “It is a painless, blade-free, computer-guided treatment that delivers highly focused and targeted radiation to tumors in the brain.”
The non-invasive technology allows most patients to return home the same day as their treatment. Approximately 200 beams of gamma rays precisely target tumors, minimally influencing other areas of the brain. “As recently as the early 2000s, when cancer metastasized to patients’ brains, it was usually fatal,” Sahni said. “But now the Gamma Knife treatment has helped treat the tumors and restore quality of life.”
Johnston-Willis Hospital was the first hospital in the United States to receive The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for brain tumor care. The hospital also received the Gold Seal of Approval for Stroke Rehabilitation. Additionally, Johnston-Willis was the first Central Virginia hospital to use focused ultrasound for essential tremors and was the first non-academic community hospital and only the second in Virginia to achieve the Comprehensive Stroke Certification by DNV-GL Healthcare. The designations reflect HCA Virginia’s neurology program’s commitment to comprehensive, evidence-based care.
“We’re proud to be a leader in Virginia in terms of providing a safer alternative to traditional brain surgery,” Sahni said. “Thousands of our patients—some of whom have traveled to Richmond from across the country—are able to return to their lives cancer-free quicker than ever before.”