Article ID: CBB166598493

Battey’s operation as a treatment for hysteria: a review of a series of cases in the nineteenth century (2020)


Ovarian resection as a treatment for hysteria, called ‘Battey’s operation’ or ‘normal ovariotomy’, was performed in the nineteenth century. Battey later reported that the resected ovaries appeared to have ‘cystic degeneration’. Currently, patients with acute neuropsychiatric symptoms are screened for teratomas for the differential diagnosis of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. There is now a hypothesis that ovarian lesions resulting in paraneoplastic encephalitis were among the patients who underwent Battey’s operation. We identified 94 published cases of Battey’s operation for neuropsychiatric symptoms in the late nineteenth century. Among 36 cases with detailed descriptions, we found 3 patients who showed acute onset neuropsychiatric symptoms with macropathological ovarian findings that were compatible with teratoma. They showed favourable prognoses after surgery and might have motivated the surgeons to perform the operation.

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Authors & Contributors
Stacey, Michelle
Darby, Robert J. L.
Carol, Anne
Bonnichon, Philippe
Proye, Charles
Charbit, Lionel
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Medical History
Histoire des Sciences Médicales
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Journal of the Early Republic
Jeremy P. Tarcher, Putnam
Chandler House Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Pickering & Chatto
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University of Georgia Press
Therapeutic practice; therapy; treatment
Mental disorders and diseases
Medicine and gender
Fancher, Mary J.
Lisfranc, M. Jacques
Senn, Nikolaus
Janet, Pierre
Kazanjian, Varaztad Hovhannes
Pratt, Joseph Hersey
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
17th century
18th century
Early modern
United States
Ottoman Empire
Pennsylvania (U.S.)
Paris (France)

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