Obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD ) affects 2-3% of the population. Consists of persistent thoughts (obsessions), uncontrollable repetitive behaviors (compulsions) and anxiety. More than 20% of cases are refractory to medical treatments and would be improved by surgery or "radiosurgery".
The causes of OCD are partially known, we know that the disconnection of some of the circuits that connect the frontal lobe with the rest of the brain improves its symptoms.
Consists of stereotactic surgery guided by Magnetic Resonance (MR). Patients are studied through tests and functional MRIs to locate the regions to be treated.
An instrument is placed on the head. An MRI is performed and the patient goes to the operating room with the instrument. Under general anesthesia , two holes are made in the frontal region through which a probe is inserted that is heated at its end, producing lesions such as a grain of rice and disconnecting different brain regions.. The approximate duration is four hours.
In the postoperative period patients are somewhat disoriented and with moderate headache , they may present fever , nausea and vomiting ; but they are relaxed and calm. The income usually lasts three days. The obsessions yield quickly, but the complete improvement appears after one year.
In radiosurgery with Gamma Knife: the patient with the stereotactic instrument enters the Gamma Knife, which consists of a radiation system with operation similar to an MRI, which does not require anesthesia. The patient remains in this machine for about three hours and leaves high after two hours. The admission lasts one day and the patient has no discomfort. Obsessions improve between six months to one year progressively and slowly.
Results of treatment
Obsessions and compulsions improve in 71% of cases, with an improvement in the quality of life of the patient in 75%. The results are similar in the group treated by "radiosurgery". No long-term adverse effects have been observed.