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Stormhawk
08-09-2008, 10:00 AM
Yes, it's icky, but it's a plot point for down the road, so I need to know so I can set it up properly.

Can one perform a lobotomy with a nail? Just a regular 2/3 inch nail. I know the stories of the "doctor" and his ice-pick, but an ice-pick is a bit longer than a nail.

It doesn't have to be precise, the aim isn't to achieve any sort of positive effect on the person getting stabbed in the head, just so that she's messed up enough so that she can't spill vital secrets and betray the organisation she works for.

Further...would it go in above the eye (I think that's what I read), or through the forehead, or could it puncture the temple for greater effect?

RJK
08-09-2008, 04:59 PM
I'm only going by what I've seen on TV and read, but I understand they used to slide a long bladed scalpel in over the eyeball and slice laterally across the frontal lobes to break the connections with the rest of the brain.

I don't think you'd accomplish that with a 3 inch nail.

WendyNYC
08-09-2008, 05:12 PM
In Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates, the MC plans to perform lobotomies on his victims with an ice pick up through the eye. Complete with drawings.

It's more than a little disturbing.

RainyDayNinja
08-09-2008, 05:22 PM
You might want to read up on Phineas Gage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage)

Basically, he took a long rod through the frontal lobe, and it took away his ability to control his impulses. This, of course, turned him into a total jerk. I'm not sure how close that is to what you want, but it's a start.

Maryn
08-09-2008, 06:05 PM
Okay, grossness warning. You tender folks just move on to some other post.

Medical lobotomies were done through the nose in the US. Scarring inside the nasal passage didn't show, and if a nutcase couldn't breathe as well as s/he used to, nobody much cared. That was the least of the person's problems.

A few years ago I had outpatient nasal surgery and the length of the stuff they stuck up my nose was quite impressive, right about four inches. So your nail won't be anywhere near long enough for a nasal-access lobotomy.

The eye-access lobotomy is likely to damage the eye orbit (the bones around the eye) or the eye itself in the hands of someone who hasn't observed and practiced. Is it okay if your lobotomy character is blinded, loses his eye, or is disfigured from orbit damage?

The skull is thick and it won't be easy to drive a nail through it. I'm not a doctor, but the temple seems pretty far away from the frontal lobe. What else would you be destroying to get to it?

Maryn, aware that even stuff you make up demands research

HeronW
08-09-2008, 07:13 PM
google: Lobotomy operation
and you'll gets lots of info

Stormhawk
08-10-2008, 01:21 AM
The eye-access lobotomy is likely to damage the eye orbit (the bones around the eye) or the eye itself in the hands of someone who hasn't observed and practiced. Is it okay if your lobotomy character is blinded, loses his eye, or is disfigured from orbit damage?


So long as she's technically alive at the end of it (breathing on her own would be a plus), it's ok.

WendyNYC
08-10-2008, 01:29 AM
Hmm, maybe it was through the nose in Zombie. I don't remember. That book was a little...ick.

C.bronco
08-10-2008, 01:36 AM
I use safety scissors and a wire whisk. Sticky-tack patches the hole nicely.

StephanieFox
08-10-2008, 01:54 AM
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5014080

Check this out. Lobotomies isn't all zombie stuff. It mostly got rid of emotions, or at least dampened them. The zombie stuff happened when something went wrong.

Stormhawk
08-10-2008, 02:30 AM
Thanks guys.

(It's weird, I'm a damn biotech, and can talk about inflating cow lungs with a vacuum cleaner, but trying to research jabbing things into the brain leaves me queasy...)

Ok, it seems that plan 1 (the nail) won't work, I'm going to see if I can give her a sort of expressive aphasia instead (don't ask me how, I'm working on the details - may have to rely on magical conceit for the scene).

HeronW
08-10-2008, 09:25 PM
Or your MC can suck the gas out of a cow lung. That would make most folks pass out :}