What is lobotomy? Consequences of lobotomy

Not always a person can behave adequately. Someone has this condition in childhood, and some overtakes later. Previously, when making diagnoses such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety that occurs in humans, medicine quite often resorted to the following radical procedure - brain lobotomy. At the present time, this operation is almost abandoned - new methods of treatment have appeared.what is lobotomy

Little about the process itself

So what is a lobotomy? This is a type of treatment used in psychiatry. During the operation, the destruction of the frontal cortex of the brain occurs. It is for this reason that there are still disputes: whether to give preference to this procedure or not. After all, its effect on the human body has not yet been fully studied. Some scientists consider it "inhuman" and ineffectual when making a diagnosis, while others are of the opinion that it is harmful.

If we talk about the operation itself in a technological sense, then it is simple.The task of surgery is to separate the frontal lobes that control the thinking process from the brain.

The first operation of this type was carried out in the last century, in the thirties. Psychiatrists approved innovation in medicine. This operation began to be used in the treatment of most patients in psychiatric hospitals, not paying attention to the consequences of a lobotomy.

History: the beginning

We have already talked about the appearance of this procedure, and now more about it.

1890 Dr. Gottleib Backhart in Switzerland underwent surgery to remove a portion of the frontal lobes of patients in a psychiatric clinic. One of them died immediately, the second - a few days after leaving the medical institution. In the other four, a change in behavior was observed. It was from that moment that psychological surgery began to develop.

Only in 1935, a neurologist from Portugal, Egash Moniz (António Egas Moniz), underwent prefrontal leukotomy surgery. The operation was as follows: a hole was drilled in the head of the patient. Through it was introduced alcohol, which contributed to the destruction of the frontal lobes.The tool used to cut brain tissue is called leukotum.

After the procedure, the patients became a little quieter. For this discovery, the doctor received the Nobel Prize.


Neurologist and psychiatrist from America Walter Freeman continued his work in this direction. Asking for help from his comrade, neurosurgeon James Watt, he performed an operation on a patient who suffered from depression and insomnia. The result he was satisfied. Thanks to this procedure, the doctor has even figured out what lobotomy is and what it gives to the patient. It was from this time, from 1936, that the intensified propaganda of this operation began.

The technology of the operation improved from year to year. The holes in the skull were drilled; the operation could be carried out only by a highly qualified, specially trained specialist. Freeman understood that this operation would be unavailable in many psychiatric clinics where ordinary surgeons work. That's why he decided to simplify the procedure and developed a technique called transorbital. Access to the frontal lobes was opened through the eye sockets. In small clinics there was not always anesthesia, during the operation electric shock was used.

Why and why

To understand what lobotomy is, you need to know why this procedure was used so often. After all, the very idea that with a small tool, like an ice pick, they climb into the sockets, and then into the brain, it seems scary. But despite all this, the doctors pursued a good goal: they wanted to help sick people with a diagnosis of "schizophrenia" and other severe mental illnesses. The reason for the operation always had one justification - to help patients continue to lead a normal life.Lobotomy photo before and after

As mentioned above, this procedure has been used for a very long time. In those days there were no drugs that could calm the "violent" person. If no measures were taken, the sick person could harm both himself and others. There was no time to waste; it was necessary to immediately take drastic measures. In this case, the only way out of this situation was a lobotomy. Photos before and after - evidence of how people change after the procedure.

How is the operation?

Now let's talk about how the procedure is carried out. You must agree that it is impossible to fully understand what a lobotomy is, without knowing the technique of the operation itself.

The human brain is able to self-cure some very minor damage to it. That is why a closed method is used, during which the craniotomy is not applied. This method is simple, the operation is carried out in three stages:

  • Anesthetic treats the skin over the eyes. A horizontal incision is made.
  • A metal blade is inserted into the incision; the angle of inclination should be within fifteen to twenty degrees. The cone is cut with a blade with a base of three or four centimeters; the tip of the cone is in the bridge of the nose. The patient does not feel any discomfort.
  • A probe is inserted into the incision. It has a hole for the outflow of fluid, cell mass and blood. The incision is sutured. If the operation was successful, after a week the patient can start work.lobotomy before and after

What happens after the operation

The doctor penetrates the patient's brain, changes its structure, not knowing whether this intervention will help the patient. In addition, a specialist is not always sure which part of the brain can save a patient from one or another mental illness. Initially, it seemed that the simplicity of the operation would make it possible to quickly introduce it into practice.But it didn’t work out the way it was planned to produce results that nobody expected during the “lobotomy” procedure. Photos before and after - proof of that. Patients had a "dullness", indifference, inertness. This is due to the fact that the scars formed on the brain, in some patients are not treatable by other means. That is why lobotomy is not used as often as previously planned. It is used in exceptional cases when other methods no longer help. And only so that the patient behaves more calmly.brain lobotomy

Why the procedure was almost abandoned

The cause of the human condition, or rather the results that begin to appear after the operation "lobotomy". Before and after the procedure, they change, and not always in a positive way.

The experiments were carried out for a long time, and only in the late forties, the whole truth came out. She led some into shock. Here are the results:

  • About twenty percent of the operations carried out were fatal.
  • Suppuration in the brain. The reason is infection.
  • Meningitis.
  • Skull bone disease.
  • Brain hemorrhage.
  • Weight gain, uncontrolled urination;
  • Behavior change. effects of lobotomy

And although the results are not always positive, many psychiatrists still defend their right to a lobotomy. After all, sometimes this procedure brings relief, and patients return to normal life. But in any case, by changing a person’s behavior in this way, surgeons destroy healthy brain tissue.


lobotomy whyWe considered the question of what is a lobotomy. Why do some experts recommend it if it can not only help the patient, but also cause irreparable harm? And if this is the last opportunity to make a person workable? After all, not always the result can be negative. There are many examples when a former patient after a lobotomy became normal and forgot about his problems. To resort to this procedure or not - the patient himself or his relatives must decide.

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