If you or someone you know is dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you may be considering psychosurgery as a treatment option. This is a big decision, and it’s important to understand all of your options before making a final decision. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about OCD psychosurgery. We will cover the different types of surgery available, the risks and benefits of each type, and how to prepare for surgery.
What Is OCD Psychosurgery?
OCD psychosurgery is a medical procedure that is used to treat patients with severe OCD that has not responded to other treatments. This type of surgery involves making changes to the brain that can help to reduce the symptoms of OCD.
There are two types of OCD psychosurgery: cingulotomy and capsulotomy. Cingulotomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting the cingulate gyrus. Which is a part of the brain that is involved in emotion and decision-making. On the other hand, a capsulotomy is a surgical procedure that involves destroying the nucleus accumbens. That is a part of the brain that is involved in reward and pleasure.
OCD psychosurgery is usually only considered a last resort for treating OCD. Because there are some risks associated with this type of surgery, it is important to make sure that all other treatment options have been tried first.
However, for some people with OCD, this type of surgery can be a life-changing treatment. If you or someone you know has OCD and is considering psychosurgery, it is important to talk to a mental health professional about all of the risks and benefits of this treatment option.
What Are The Types Of Psychosurgery?
If you are considering psychosurgery, it is important to understand the different types of procedures that are available. Although there is a variety of different types of psychosurgery, the most ablative four types of procedure. However, the procedure of these types can result in lesions in the brain that are irreversible. Such ablative procedures are;
- Limbic Leucotomy
- Subcaudate Tractotomy
These are all procedures that should be considered with the utmost seriousness as they come with a variety of risks and side effects. If you are considering any type of psychosurgery, it is essential that you speak to a qualified professional who can advise you on the best course of action. Other than this, there are non-ablative procedures;
- Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
- Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
DBS is a less invasive procedure that involves the placement of electrodes in the brain. These electrodes deliver electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain that are thought to be responsible for OCD. VNS is a similar procedure that involves the stimulation of the vagus nerve, which is thought to have an effect on mood disorders.
It is often the case that people will try a variety of different treatments before considering psychosurgery. This is because psychosurgery is a last resort treatment option that should only be considered when all other options have failed.
How Does OCD Psychosurgery Developed?
The development of OCD psychosurgery can be traced back to the early 1900s. In 1909, a German psychiatrist named Julius Wagner-Jauregg observed that patients with syphilis who underwent surgery for their condition showed improvement in their mental state.
This led him to believe that surgery could be used to treat other psychiatric conditions. And in the 1920s, he began using a procedure called leucotomy to treat patients with schizophrenia.
Leucotomy involved severing the connections between the frontal lobes and the rest of the brain. This was thought to calm down overactive areas of the brain. And while it did have some success, it also caused serious side effects, including personality changes, memory loss, and paralysis.
In the 1940s, another psychiatrist named Walter Freeman developed a new version of leucotomy called a transorbital lobotomy. This involved accessing the brain through the eye socket and severing the connections between the frontal lobes and the rest of the brain. While this procedure was less invasive, it also had serious side effects and was only effective in a small minority of patients.
Therefore, throughout the years, OCD psychosurgery has been constantly refined to try and reduce the side effects while still maintaining its efficacy. Moreover, new surgical techniques have been developed that are far less invasive than the original procedures.
What Are The Benefits Of OCD Psychosurgery?
OCD psychosurgery is a cutting-edge treatment for OCD that can provide significant relief from the condition. OCD psychosurgery can be an effective treatment for people who have not responded to other treatments, such as medication and/or therapy.
However, it is important to note that OCD psychosurgery is a serious treatment option and should only be considered as a last resort. Because of the risks involved, it is important to consult with a qualified mental health professional before making the decision to undergo OCD psychosurgery.
That being said, here are some of the potential benefits of OCD psychosurgery:
- Reduced symptoms of OCD
- The increased quality of life
- Improved ability to function in day-to-day activities
- A decrease in the need for medication
If you or someone you know is considering OCD psychosurgery. It is important to consult with a qualified mental health professional to discuss all of the potential risks and benefits. This treatment option should not be taken lightly, as it is a serious decision with potential risks. However, for some people, OCD psychosurgery can be a life-changing treatment that leads to a significant reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life.
What Are The Risks Of OCD Psychosurgery?
This treatment option is not without its risks. Because it is related to the brain and can cause several side effects. So, it is important to be aware of these risks before making the decision to go through with this type of surgery.
The most common side effects of OCD psychosurgery are;
- memory problems
- vision problems
- loss of balance
Some serious side effects can also occur but are less common. These include;
- bleeding in the brain
As you can see, there are a variety of risks associated with this type of surgery. It is important to discuss these with your doctor before making a decision. OCD psychosurgery is not for everyone and comes with a certain amount of risk. But, for some people, it may be the best option.
The side effects of OCD psychosurgery can be mild and severe too. There are many factors that can affect the side effects a person experiences. These include;
- Type of surgery
- Area of the brain being targeted
- The person’s overall health
- Age and weight
So, it is important to discuss all of these factors with your doctor before making a decision about this type of surgery. OCD psychosurgery is a serious treatment option that should not be taken lightly.
Thus, it is important to do your research and consult with a professional before making any decisions.
Is Neurosurgery Recommended For OCD?
Neurosurgery is not generally recommended for people with OCD. There are a few reasons for this:
- The success rate for neurosurgery is not very high, and it carries a risk of serious complications.
- There is no guarantee that neurosurgery will stop the obsessions and compulsions from coming back.
- Neurosurgery does not treat the underlying causes of OCD, such as anxiety or depression.
So why do some people with OCD opt for neurosurgery? For some, the obsessions and compulsions are so severe that they are willing to take the risks involved with surgery. Others may have tried other treatments without success and feel that they have nothing to lose by trying neurosurgery.
Moreover, in most cases, neurosurgery is not a cure for OCD. It is usually only recommended as a last resort when all other treatment options have failed. In fact, Some doctors think that neurosurgery should only be considered for people with very severe OCD who are at risk of harming themselves or others.
If you or someone you know is considering neurosurgery for OCD, it is important to talk to a doctor about all the risks and benefits before making a decision.
To conclude, OCD psychosurgery is a highly effective treatment for OCD that can provide long-term relief from the condition. It is important to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine if this treatment option is right for you. If you are considering OCD psychosurgery, be sure to ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of the procedure.
As it is a serious medical procedure, this treatment option should not be taken lightly. However, for many people with OCD, psychosurgery can be a life-changing treatment that leads to significant improvements in quality of life. Therefore, it is important to weigh all of the risks and benefits before making a decision about whether or not to undergo this type of treatment.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.