Lars Leksell was the inventor of radiosurgery. He was a ceaseless neurosurgical innovator who created whole industries that have benefited millions of people around the world, all from ideas that sprang from his mind. The modern stereotactic frame and stereotactic radiosurgery are but two of Leksell’s contributions. He was never content to have solved a problem, but immediately sought out the next neurosurgical challenge with which to contend.
It is now over 70 years ago, since when Professor Lars Leksell discovered that by minimising surgical intervention in the skull, the mortality rate could be reduced along with the trauma to the patient. This concept led to the birth of minimally and non-invasive neurosurgery and stereotactic radiosurgery which involves delivering a single, high dose of radiation to a small and critically located target in the brain.
The stereotactic concept of directing beams of X-rays into the brain was used surgically for the first time in 1951 and the first Leskell Gamma Knife prototype for clinical research was introduced in 1968. In the 1980’s, the first commercial deliveries of Leskell Gamma Knife systems were made. The unsurpassed clinical effectiveness of the treatments conducted saw a dramatic increase in the number of publications and it soon became the worldwide gold standard for stereotactic brain surgery.
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