The lobotomy was first introduced by neurologist Egas Moniz as a last resort means to cure severe mental illness, including depression and anxiety. The neurologist and psychiatrist Walter J. Freeman brought the procedure to the United States.
Freeman—along with his colleague, neurosurgeon James W. Watts—performed the first prefrontal lobotomy on US soil on 63-year-old Alice Hood Hammatt on September 14, 1936, at George Washington University Hospital. Lobotomies subsequently fell out of favor and are generally considered barbaric today; nevertheless, the Nobel Committee has not acted on calls to rescind Moniz’s 1949 prize. Freeman was banned from performing operations in 1967 after one of his patients died from a brain hemorrhage.
Here are some photos of Dr. Freeman and his colleague James Watts’s lobotomy practices: