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Howard Dully Talks about 'My Lobotomy'

Howard Dully
Howard Dully

If you saw me, you'd never know I had a lobotomy," says Howard Dully. "But I've always felt different, wondered if something's missing from my soul."

Developed by Dr. Walter Freeman, the transorbital lobotomy did not require drilling into the skull, as done in previous lobotomies. Instead Dr. Freeman used a medical instrument, shaped like an ice-pick to push up underneath the bone above the eyeball and sever the brain tissue in the pre-frontal lobes of the brain.

Dully, 56, spent two years searching for the story behind his "ice pick" lobotomy at age 12. He talks about his experience and how the medical community in the U.S. sometimes still uses brain surgery, also called psychosurgery, to treat mental illnesses.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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