Lobotomy (sometimes called leukotomy or leucotomy) is a form of brain surgery in which connections to and from the frontal lobes of the brain are cut.
It is a form of psychosurgery ( neurosurgery or surgery on the brain) designed to treat mental disorders. It has also been used to treat chronic pain.
Lobotomy as a form of treatment was widely used in the 1940's and 1950's, particularly in America, to treat schizophrenia and other disorders, especially those where the sufferer was violent or agitated.
Highly controversial from the outset, lobotomy has increasingly come to be seen as an extremely unacceptable treatment which causes extensive and irreversible damage to an individual's personality and cognitive functioning.
This type of psychosurgery had virtually ceased by the 1970's, although it is still in occasional use.
Watch this video to learn about the use of lobotomy by the surgeon Walter J. Freeman.
(BE AWARE that some of the scenes of surgery, and parts of the discussion about the use of lobotomy, are UPSETTING):