ALMEIDA, AM et al. Psychic surgery: an investigation
BACKGROUND. A very popular modality with the media is psychic
which has received little scientific evaluation though. Such
phenomena always raise the issues of fakery and deceit. Research has
METHODS. We report an investigation on one of the most famous
surgeons in Brazil, João Teixeira de Farias. 30 surgical
interventions with cutting were studied, 6 patients undergoing
history-taking, physical examination and analysis of the materials
supposedly extracted from them.
RESULTS. We were struck by the fact that the surgeon really
skin or ocular epithelium in addition to scraping the cornea without
identified anaesthetics or antiseptics being used. Just one woman
complained of pain as she had her breast incised. Longer follow up
patients failed to notice any infection in the surgical sites.
Histopathology found the specimens to be compatible with their site
of origin and, apart from a 210g. lipoma, were healthy tissues
without discernible pathology.
CONCLUSIONS. The surgerical procedures are real but we couldn't
evaluate the efficacy. It didn't appear to have any specific effect.
Our findings are undoubtedly more of an exploratory kind than
conclusive ones. Further studies are clearly necessary to cast light
on this unorthodox treatment. [Rev Ass Med Bras; 46(3): 194-200]
KEYWORDS: Spiritual surgery. Spiritual healing. Alternative
therapy. Complementary therapy.