Definition of lobotomy in English:



  • A surgical operation involving incision into the prefrontal lobe of the brain, formerly used to treat mental illness.

    ‘there was talk of performing a lobotomy’
    Compare with leucotomy
    mass noun ‘the revolt against the resurgence of lobotomy’
    • ‘A few months after performing his first lobotomy in 1936, Freeman presented the case to the annual meeting of the Southern Medical Association.’
    • ‘There was, however, the far more brutal chance that he would be donated to the Experimental Surgery wing for a lobotomy.’
    • ‘His lifelong guilt came from allowing his mother to authorize a lobotomy on his sister; twenty years later, he still regarded his mother with both reverence and resentment.’
    • ‘The painter's younger sister, Jacqueline, who was physically and mentally handicapped had a lobotomy when she was a child and spent her life in a mental institution.’
    • ‘A cingulutomy is a prefrontal lobotomy that severs certain functions between the two frontal hemispheres.’
    • ‘Later, a visiting neurosurgeon used the theater to perform lobotomies on patients who were scarcely aware of what was being done to them.’
    • ‘In 1967, Freeman performed a lobotomy on one of his original patients in Berkeley, California.’
    • ‘There were other types of lobotomy as well… as many varieties as there were imaginative neurosurgeons.’
    • ‘Little attention was paid to what happened to those subjected to lobotomies after surgery.’
    • ‘These were the days when doubts were being voiced about lobotomies and leucotomies and other simple little strokes of the specialist's knife.’
    • ‘Several were of a gruesome medical procedure, a prefrontal lobotomy.’
    • ‘Upon receipt of the promised champagne and chocolates I can recommend a friendly brain surgeon, skilled in pre-frontal lobotomies.’
    • ‘We have all soaked up enough of music's answer to general anaesthetic to have lobotomies performed quite painlessly.’
    • ‘Neurosurgeons everywhere started to abandon lobotomy in favour of more humane methods of treatment.’
    • ‘It seems that in the 1930s, when Egas Moniz was doing the first lobotomies on humans, treating mental illness was urgent for some reason.’
    • ‘It compares with a surgeon going into an operating theatre without knowing whether he is going to remove an appendix or perform a lobotomy; and who knows, if he gets really inspired, he may amputate the patient's left leg.’
    • ‘By the late 1950s, more than 30,000 patients had had lobotomies and the surgery was being used to ‘cure’ everything from mental retardation to homosexuality to criminal insanity.’
    • ‘This operation, also called prefrontal leucotomy or standard lobotomy, was performed widely, and soon its beneficial as well as its detrimental effects became apparent.’
    • ‘Although we no longer burn mental patients at the stake or perform lobotomies, this new research demonstrates that our treatments for schizophrenia are still far from ideal.’
    • ‘The number of lobotomies, or leucotomies, fell dramatically after the 1950s, as drugs became available, especially for schizophrenia.’