Psychosurgery: An Overview

Published: 11th June 2010
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Psychosurgery in India, now offered at a discounted price, is attracting a lot of foreign nationals to India. The cost of psychosurgery in India is very low as compared to the western countries. India, which is one of the most sought-after medical tourism destinations in the world, has patients from over 60 counties getting treated in various hospitals across the country. Reasons varying from lower treatment costs to shorter waiting periods for surgeries are cited as reasons for India becoming a hot destination for health tourists, mainly from the West and the Gulf countries. Psychosurgery in India at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore offers remarkable cost savings. The savings are a function of where you travel for surgery. India is currently one of the cheapest places for surgery in the world.

The definition of Psychosurgery:

Psychosurgery involves severing or otherwise disabling areas of the brain to treat a personality disorder, behavior disorder, or other mental illness. Modern psychosurgical techniques target the pathways between the limbic system (the portion of the brain on the inner edge of the cerebral cortex) that is believed to regulate emotions, and the frontal cortex, where thought processes are seated.

The purpose of Psychosurgery:

The Psychosurgery is performed on the frontal lobe of the brain and its purpose is to alleviate mental illness and chronic pain symptoms. The bilateral cingulotomy, a modern psychosurgical technique which has replaced the lobotomy, is performed to alleviate mental disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which has not responded to Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, electroshock, or pharmacologic treatment. Bilateral cingulotomies are also performed to treat chronic pain in cancer patients.

Psychosurgery Precautions:

Psychosurgery should be considered only after all other non-surgical psychiatric therapies have been fully explored. Much is still unknown about the biology of the brain and how Psychosurgery affects brain function.

The Description of Psychosurgery:

Psychosurgery, also called neurosurgery for mental disorder (NMD), is the neurosurgical treatment of mental disorder. Psychosurgery is collaboration between psychiatrists and neurosurgeons. During the operation, which is carried out under general anaesthetic and using stereotactic methods, a small piece of brain is destroyed or removed. The most common types of Psychosurgery in current or recent use are capsulotomy, cingulotomy, subcaudate tractotomy and limbic leucotomy. Lesions are made by radiation, thermo-coagulation, freezing or cutting. About a third of patients show significant improvement in their symptoms after operation. Advances in surgical technique have greatly reduced the incidence of death and serious damage from Psychosurgery; the remaining risks include seizures, incontinence, decreased drive and initiative, weight gain, and cognitive and affective problems. Currently, interest in the neurosurgical treatment of mental illness is shifting from ablative Psychosurgery (where the aim is to destroy brain tissue) to deep brain stimulation (DBS) where the aim is to stimulate areas of the brain with implanted electrodes.

Today's Psychosurgical techniques are much more refined. Instead of going in "blind" to remove large sections on the frontal lobe, as in these early operations, neurosurgeons use a computer-based process called stereotactic magnetic resonance imaging to guide a small electrode to the limbic system (brain structures involved in autonomic or automatic body functions and some emotion and behavior). There an electrical current burns in a small lesion [usually 0.5 in (1.3 cm) in size]. In a bilateral cingulotomy, the cingulate gyrus, a small section of brain that connects the limbic region of the brain with the frontal lobes, is targeted. Another surgical technique uses a non-invasive tool known as a gamma knife to focus beams of radiation at the brain. A lesion forms at the spot where the beams converge in the brain.

Candidates for Psychosurgery:

Candidates for cingulotomies or other forms of Psychosurgery undergo a rigorous screening process to ensure that all possible non-surgical psychiatric treatment options have been explored. Psychosurgery is only performed with the patient's informed consent.

The Psychosurgery aftercare

Ongoing behavioral and medication therapy is often required in OCD patients who undergo cingulotomy. All Psychosurgery patients should remain under a psychiatrist's care for follow-up evaluations and treatment.

Risks of having Psychosurgery

As with any type of brain surgery, Psychosurgery carries the risk of permanent brain damage, though the advent of non-invasive neurosurgical techniques, such as the gamma knife, has reduced the risk of brain damage significantly.

The global patients traveling for Psychosurgery in India can get access to top-quality health-care quickly and cheaply. India has one of the world's most extensive health-care systems supported by a long tradition of health and medicine dating back to Ayurveda. Indian doctors routinely take post-graduate training at American and European university hospitals, and they are the backbone of both the National Health Service in the United Kingdom and hospitals in the United States. Last year alone 150,000 patients visited India for medical treatment, from countries around the world.

For further information on Psychosurgery in India visit us at or mail your queries at or you can call at +91-9371136499, +91-9860755000, + 1-415-599-2537 (USA) / +44-20-8133-2571 (UK).

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