Cortical undercutting, as an alternative to standard leucotomy and to the major operation of topectomy, was devised by three surgeons independently. Scoville (1949) published his preliminary results soon after McKissock had begun to do rostral leucotomies. Both have continued to use this type of operation (Scoville et al., 1951; Scoville, 1954) but Ferey (1950), the third to develop a similar technique, was disappointed with the results and soon abandoned it (Ferey, 1953). McKissock (1951) reported the initial impressions of the results in 100 cases and by the end of 1952 had operated on 240 cases. During 1953–54, 1½ to 5 years after operation, I followed up these patients, visiting 175 of them in their homes, and 35 in hospital. Personal follow up was refused or for some reason impracticable in 17 cases, including 4 whose case notes had been destroyed; 13 others had died before the survey was made.
Partridge (1950) reported a follow up study of 300 cases operated on by the same surgeon by his “standard” technique (McKissock, 1943); he had the advantage, which I had not, of being able to see his patients before operation. I have had to work retrospectively, and the case notes available, whilst often excellent, had usually not been made with the idea that they would be needed for follow-up purposes. I have not, therefore, thought it right to draw more than broad conclusions from this study.