Howard Dully Talks about 'My Lobotomy'

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Howard Dully i

Howard Dully hide caption

toggle caption
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.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from