Healthcare Industry News:  Gamma Knife 

Devices Neurosurgery

 News Release - January 16, 2007

Washington Hospital to Be Among First Facilities in the World to Offer the Leksell Gamma Knife(R) Perfexion(TM)

Washington Hospital to Open Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute and Host First Annual Advances in Neurosciences Symposium on May 19, 2007

FREMONT, Calif., Jan. 16 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Imagine brain surgery performed without making a single cut. That dream will soon be a reality as Washington Hospital becomes among the first facilities in the world, and the first community hospital in the country, to offer the most advanced system ever created for non-invasive treatment of brain disorders. The Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion(TM) is a stereotactic radiosurgery treatment device that delivers doses of focused radiation to reach even the deepest brain tumors while sparing surrounding tissue.

To mark the opening of Washington Hospital's new Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute, the hospital is hosting the first annual Advances in Neurosciences Symposium on May 19, 2007. The program will feature leading physician specialists from around the world who will discuss the Gamma Knife Perfexion and advances in brain tumor therapy, spine surgery and neurodegenerative disorders, and controversies in cerebrovascular disease.

Since the original technology was first used in 1965, nearly 500,000 Gamma Knife procedures have been performed worldwide with a 95 percent cure rate in certain indications. Among its many benefits, Gamma Knife radiosurgery is minimally invasive, so the risks of surgical complications are eliminated and patients experience virtually no discomfort. By performing these procedures on an outpatient basis, patients can return to their normal activities on the same day of treatment.

"The Perfexion will be the cornerstone of the new Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute and provides a potentially life-saving technology to patients in the surrounding communities, as well as referral patients from throughout the United States," said Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of Washington Hospital Healthcare System. "The Gamma Knife program will have experienced and skilled staff led by internationally known co-medical directors Sandeep Kunwar, M.D., and David Larson, M.D., Ph.D."

Dr. Kunwar, a board-certified neurosurgeon, has led a successful surgical practice specializing in Gamma Knife radiosurgery for approximately seven years. He has a world-class reputation for his extensive research in advancing approaches for minimal access surgery of the brain and spine. Dr. Kunwar holds memberships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

"The Gamma Knife program and the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute add to Washington Hospital Healthcare System's already outstanding reputation for expert patient care," said Dr. Kunwar. "The level of physician expertise assembled to run the program and Institute is unprecedented for a community hospital."

Dr. Larson is a board-certified radiation oncologist who has specialized in the treatment of brain disorders for more than 20 years, and has more than 15 years of experience treating patients with the Gamma Knife. He is the former president of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society, the Leksell Gamma Knife Society and the Northern California Radiation Oncology Society, and has served as investigator on numerous brain tumor clinical trials.

About Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion

The Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is a new, highly advanced device that takes non-invasive brain surgery to the next level and provides a platform for the expansion of radiosurgery procedures in the brain, cervical spine and head and neck regions. With Perfexion, up to 40 percent more patients can benefit from Gamma Knife surgery compared to previous-generation technology. Designed from the ground up with patient comfort and patient and staff safety in mind, Perfexion further minimizes any unnecessary body radiation dose compared with competing technologies.

The Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is expected to be delivered in April 2007 and will be an integral part of Washington Hospital's Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute.

About the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute

The Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute will offer a wide range of neuro-related programs. The cornerstone of the institute will be the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion. Other Institute programs include a Stroke Program, providing treatment for all aspects of stroke care; Brain Tumor Surgery for both benign and malignant tumors; and a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery program that specializes in reconstructive spine surgery. The new institute is named for Mr. Bell, who was diagnosed in November 2003 with a brain tumor, in recognition for his years of service as general counsel to Washington Hospital and for his significant impact on the local community.

About Washington Hospital Healthcare System

Washington Hospital Healthcare System includes the 337-bed, acute-care general hospital; four clinics located in Fremont, Warm Springs, Newark and Union City; Washington Radiation Oncology Center; Washington Outpatient Surgery Center; Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center; Washington Outpatient Catheterization Laboratory; Washington Center for Joint Replacement; the Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery; and Washington West, a complex with outpatient hospital services and administrative facilities.

Washington Hospital is the recipient of HealthGrades' 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, which places the Hospital among the top five percent in the nation for clinical excellence. HealthGrades is the leading, nationwide health care ratings, information, and advisory services company and produces its ranking and ratings in a report released annually.

*Gamma Knife and Leksell Gamma Knife are U.S. federally registered trademarks of the Elekta Group.

Source: Washington Hospital Healthcare System

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