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Violist played her violin to keep doctors entertained as they performed tumour surgery on her

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Dagmar Turner

Violist played her violin to keep doctors entertained as they performed tumour surgery on her. A violist has steered the internet to a frenzy by her extraordinary performance as she played her violin while surgeons performed an awake tumour surgery on her brain at King’s College hospital in London.

During the surgery, the patient – identified as Dagmar Turner, 53, was woken up to play her violin while undergoing brain surgery, so that the surgical team could test specific functions, such as movement or language. The novel approach through an awake craniotomy (an opening in the skull) was taken to ensure areas of the patient’s brain responsible for delicate hand movement and coordination – crucial components when playing the violin – were not inadvertently damaged during the millimetre-precise procedure.

According to The Guardian, the committed violist who was diagnosed in 2013 with a large grade 2 (slow-growing) glioma after suffering a seizure during a symphony was keen to remove it but had explained her concerns over losing the ability to play the violin to Prof Ashkan and the neurosurgical team at King hospital. The team then devised a plan.

They spent two hours carefully mapping her brain to identify areas that were active when she played the violin and those responsible for controlling language and movement. They also discussed with Dagmar the idea of waking her mid-procedure so she could play. This would ensure the surgeons did not damage any crucial areas of the brain that controlled Dagmar’s delicate hand movements specifically when playing the instrument. With her agreement, a team of surgeons, anaesthetists and therapists went on to meticulously plan the procedure.

After the successful surgery that saw 90% of the tumour removed from her brain, the much delighted Dagma had this to say,

“The violin is my passion; I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old. The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking but, being a musician himself, Prof Ashkan understood my concerns. He and the team at King’s went out of their way to plan the operation – from mapping my brain to planning the position I needed to be in to play. Thanks to them I’m hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon.”

Watch video below

Source – iHarare

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