Definition of leucotomy in English:



mass noun
  • The surgical cutting of white nerve fibres within the brain, especially prefrontal lobotomy, formerly used to treat mental illness.

    • ‘This operation, also called prefrontal leucotomy or standard lobotomy, was performed widely, and soon its beneficial as well as its detrimental effects became apparent.’
    • ‘But back in 1936, when Freeman performed his first leucotomy, the only alternative treatment for severe mental illness was prolonged institutionalisation, and the procedure did seem to liberate many patients from this fate.’
    • ‘In America, Dr. Walter Freeman, a neurologist, read an article Moniz published about the leukotomies he had performed.’
    • ‘At that time there did not exist any effective treatment whatsoever for schizophrenia, and the leukotomy managed at least to make life more endurable for the patients and their surroundings.’
    • ‘Some medical experts claim that a leukotomy can help treat anorexia and suicidal depression.’
    • ‘While neurosurgeons cut their teeth performing leukotomies to hold the frontal lobes in check, psychoanalysis flourished in North America in the 1950s and 1960s.’
    • ‘In other patients, however, the operation had no success, and Moniz was cautious to propose that leukotomy should be used only when the case was so hopeless as to warrant it.’
    • ‘Solms discovered that patients who had had a prefrontal leukotomy, a common surgical procedure for mental illness in the 1950s and 60s, reported loss of dreaming.’
    • ‘This case highlights the focal nature of central pain mechanisms and the possible value of selective subparietal leukotomies in the management of central pain.’
    • ‘These were the days when doubts were being voiced about lobotomies and leucotomies and other simple little strokes of the specialist's knife.’
    • ‘The number of lobotomies, or leucotomies, fell dramatically after the 1950s, as drugs became available, especially for schizophrenia.’
    • ‘During the next ten years various methods of frontal leukotomy were developed by Moniz, Freeman and Watts.’