Woman Plays Violin During Brain Surgery

A patient name “Dagmar Turner” played her violin during brain surgery to remove a tumour from her brain.

During this type of extremely delicate surgery, parts of the brain which control hand movements and coordination can easily be damaged. At King’s College Hospital in London Ms Turner played her violin during her brain surgery, so that the surgeons could make sure they were not removing or damaging any parts of the brain which allow her to play the Violin.

The 53-year-old was diagnosed with having a brain tumour after suffering from a seizure in 2013. Although aware she would need the surgery, she was extremely concerned about the effect this would have on her hard learnt musical skills. Professor Keyoumars Ashkan and his team allowed her to play her instrument throughout the surgery to try and avoid any unnecessary loss of these skills.

Dagmar Turner, from the Isle Of Wight, had a brain tumour located in her right frontal lobe. The tumour was very close to the area of the brain which controls the movements of her left hand.

The surgery was a success! Dagmar can still play her beloved Violin with as much passion and precision as before the surgery.

How did they do it?

The plan the neurosurgeons came up with started with mapping Turner’s brain before putting her to sleep in general anaesthesia. The surgeons would then open up her skull for surgery after which they would awake the patient and give her a Violin. From there we assume they would cut away at the tumour carefully listening and watching Turner’s Violin playing for changes. If she stopped playing, they would stop cutting.

Is this A New Thing?

The lead surgeon “Professor Keyoumars Ashkan” a surgeon with vast experience removing over 400 tumours a year, said, he “often” wakes patients up in the middle of surgery in order for them to perform a language test.