Neurobehavioral and Psychiatric Disorders

If you or a family member have been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition that hasn't responded to standard treatments, pyschiatric neurosurgery might be the right choice. Psychiatric neurosurgery is reserved for severe cases that have not been helped by psychological or pharmacological means.

Psychiatric neurosurgery is also called “limbic system surgery" because it targets a complex network of structures that scientists call the limbic system. Sometimes called "the feeling and reacting brain," the limbic system helps the brain respond to emotion, regulate motivation and reinforcement, and form new memories.

Columbia Expertise at Your Service

At Columbia, we perform psychiatric neurosurgery on two target regions in the limbic system. The surgery on the anterior internal capsule is called a capsulotomy, and the surgery on the cingulate cortex is called an cingulotomy. 

Problems in the limbic system have been implicated in conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, anxiety, certain aspects of chronic pain, and more. Currently, limbic system surgery is FDA-approved for treatment of OCD. Ongoing research regarding limbic system surgery for otherwise intractable depression and other conditions is promising.

The Latest and Most Advanced Treatments

Psychiatric neurosurgery consists of creating a precisely targeted lesion within the dysfunctional neural circuit. The lesions are created with incredible precision using sophisticated computers, image guidance technology, and microelectrode recording techniques.

Your Own Team of Psychiatric Neurosurgery Experts

Our multi-disciplinary team of expert psychiatrists, psychologists, and neurosurgeons will work together with you to help determine if you are a candidate for psychiatric neurosurgery. 

What to Expect

Dr. Otten with patient

Our goal is to provide all patients with exceptional care, including taking uncertainty out of the process as much as possible.

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