Lesion procedures in psychiatric neurosurgery

Shaun R. Patel, Joshua P. Aronson, Sameer A. Sheth, Emad N. Eskandar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objective: Lesion procedures for psychiatric indications have a history that spans more than a century. This review provides a brief history of psychiatric surgery and addresses the most recent literature on lesion surgery for the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. Methods: Relevant data described in publications from the early 1900s through the modern era regarding lesion procedures for psychiatric indications, both historical and current use, are reported. Results: The early procedures of Burkhardt, Moniz, and Freeman are reviewed, followed by descriptions of the more refined techniques of Leksell, Knight, Foltz, White, and Kelly. The application of lesion procedures to obsessive-compulsive disorder, mood disorders, and addiction are discussed. Conclusions: Lesioning procedures have informed modern deep brain stimulation targets. Recent lesioning studies demonstrate the efficacy and durability of these procedures in severely disabled patients. Judicious application of these techniques should continue for appropriately selected patients with severe, refractory psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S31.e9-S31.e16
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Major depression
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Stereotactic
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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