A lobotomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a fragment of the brain , specifically one or more lobes. It is a technique that is currently in disuse.
Lobotomy: An Apparently Miraculous Surgery
Lobotomy began in the thirties, the father of this procedure was a Portuguese neurologist who introduced it as an option to treat various psychiatric conditions.
At the beginning the procedure was very well received, as these patients had only one option: to remain reclusive and tied up in mental sanatoriums, these were no more than patient depots, there was nothing left to offer them.
Such would be the benefit of this procedure, Dr. Egaz Moniz received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery. Lobotomy
Until then, lobotomies were a very quick procedure that took just a few minutes. They consisted of inserting a thick needle about 8 cm long through two holes in the skull. Once in the brain, the needle moved from side to side in order to “disconnect” the frontal lobe from the rest of the brain. Lobotomies were only performed in this brain lobe, which is located in the anterior part of the brain, just behind the forehead bone.
A medicine worse than the disease
After practicing this procedure, patients calmed down and could speak normally, so the doctors thought it was a miraculous surgery that could resolve psychiatric disorders with ease. Lobotomy
However, the lack of follow-up led to a delay in the observation of these patients who entered a state of apathy , they began to isolate themselves socially and annul themselves as people. In other cases, surgery did not solve the problems, on the contrary, it aggravated them.
Fortunately, the discovery of chemical mechanisms related to several psychiatric disorders contributed to the development of specific drugs that began to solve the problems, leaving lobotomies aside.
The concept of resection or elimination of a complete brain lobe is not a current medical practice.
In some conditions, such as psychiatric illness and epilepsy resistant to all available medical treatments, it may be necessary to resort to a surgical procedure.
These surgeries seek to selectively eliminate the group of neurons related to symptoms, respecting neighboring areas. This reduces the sequelae of the surgery. Unlike classic lobotomies, the areas of the brain that are eliminated can be located in any of the brain lobes. Lobotomy
Currently, these procedures are performed with techniques such as radiotherapy and radiosurgery, guided by a coordinate system known as stereotaxis.