Gamma Knife Center of New Mexico

Southwest Neurosurgical Associates

Phone: 505.244.0080
Fax: 505.244.9048
8080 Academy Rd NE, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87111-1159

Gamma Knife

Gamma Knife Center of New Mexico

Dr. Metzger was instrumental in bringing Gamma Knife radiosurgery to New Mexico. He did his residency training at UCSF where there has been a Gamma Knife program since 1991. He then directed the Gamma Knife program at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio for 3 years, performing over 350 Gamma Knife procedures during that time. Prior to moving to New Mexico in 2001, he secured commitments from the hospital and GK Financing LLC to install the first (and only) Gamma Knife in the state. The Gamma Knife is located at Lovelace Medical Center - Downtown , and it has been in operation since September 2003. Over 1200 cases have been performed thus far. Dr. Metzger is the medical director of the Gamma Knife program. We have the latest version of the Gamma Knife called the "Perfexion" which allows for shorter treatment times and higher treatment conformality.


What Is the Gamma Knife?

Well, it's not actually a knife at all. In fact, it's a form of stereotactic radiosurgery that delivers a high dose of ionizing radiation to a targeted area within the brain, often in places that were formerly considered inoperable. The radiation is delivered by as many as 201 "blades" or beams of cobalt-60 radiation that are programmed to pinpoint a tumor or an abnormal blood vessel. Individually, the beams are weak and cannot damage healthy tissue, but together they converge precisely on a target with 0.3mm accuracy and enough gamma radiation to destroy the targeted abnormality.

In the last 10 years, many of the nation's leading hospitals have increasingly used this clinically proven procedure that was first performed over 30 years ago. In fact, more than 200,000 patients have received Gamma Knife treatment to date.


Gamma Knife Video


Treatable Conditions


Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a treatment option for patients with many conditions, such as those below. It may also be used in conjunction with traditional surgery, chemotherapy or other radiation therapy to treat residual lesions following surgery or recurrent tumors.

  • Brain Tumors, both malignant and benign, including (but not
    limited to):
    • Metastatic tumors to the brain (from cancer of the lung, breast, kidney, skin, etc)
    • Gliomas
    • Acoustic neuromas
    • Pituitary adenomas
    • Meningiomas
  • Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia


Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a treatment option for patients once thought inoperable because of age, medical condition, or location of the abnormality. If you are a candidate for Gamma Knife treatment, this procedure can offer a number of benefits including:

  1. Increased Safety - No incision is made when using the Gamma knife, so the risk of complications is minimal.
  2. Effective - Gamma Knife radiosurgery is backed by over three decades of clinical experience and documented results. The procedure has proven to be accurate and successful - offering hope to patients with previously inoperable brain tumors.
  3. Comfort - Since there are no actual incisions, this procedure is much easier on your body. It is very simple and relatively painless.
  4. Short Recovery Time - In most cases, patients will stay overnight for observation. However, some patients may be treated on an outpatient basis and go home the same day.
  5. Cost-Effective - The Gamma Knife has proven to be a cost-effective treatment option. Most people can return to normal activities, including work, within 24 to 48 hours. And usually, no physical therapy or other rehabilitation is necessary. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is covered by most health insurance plans. Contact your insurance provider for specific coverage information.