Patient strums guitar on operation table as doctors operate on his brain

20 July 2017

A 32-year-old techie-turned-musician strummed the guitar on the operation table even as surgeons operated on his brain to correct a neurological disorder. The surgery at a city hospital which lasted seven hours, relieved the youth of musician's dystonia, a condition that cramped three fingers on his left hand.

The patient experienced the first cramps more than a year and a half ago while playing the guitar. Musician's dystonia involves abnormal and involuntary flexion of muscles, due to rigorous use.

While the doctors "burned" parts of his brain that caused the abnormal tremors in his muscles, the patient played guitar to help them locate the troublesome areas. Dr Sanjiv C C, a senior neurologist from the University of British Columbia, said, "This problem occurred when he tried to play the instrument and real-time feedback was important for us to ascertain the exact location of the target to be repaired."

Dr Sharan Srinivasan, a stereotactic and functional neurosurgeon at Jain Institute of Movement Disorders and Stereotactic Neurosurgery, said: "This is a surgery where the part of the brain triggering abnormal tremors is destroyed by burning,'' The Times of India reported. ''Before the surgery, a special frame was fixed to his head with four screws going deep into the skull following which an MRI was conducted."

In a similar operation in Shenzhen in Southern China in January 2017, a Chinese musician strummed his guitar during brain surgery to allow doctors to assess the maneuvering skills in his fingers as they operated on him. According to a report in The Telegraph, the Chinese musician was suffering from a neurological condition developed in the 90s, which left him unable to play the guitar. The report stated further that the patient had to stay conscious during the surgery so that doctors could place medical electrodes in parts of his brain that controlled the muscles in his fingers.

 search domain-b