It is not unusual for some brain surgeons who work near parts of the brain that control important functions, such as speech or movement, to keep patients awake to better determine where the tumor gives way to some vital part .
In the following video we can see the case of a violinist playing her instrument during surgery .
Violins and other tests
Dagmar Turner was informed of a brain tumor after a seizure at a symphony. Turner feared losing his motor skills for music. The neurosurgeon knew that he had to cut the tumor tissue as precisely as possible so that this did not happen.
So she had Turner play the violin from her London hospital bed, while the staff intervened on her. The scene was a testament to the success of a procedure now adopted in hospitals around the world.
King’s College Hospital, which this time treated Turner, often tests people for language during such surgeries. But last month’s procedure marked a milestone : it was the first time that surgeons had been able to enjoy a private concert by the operated patient.
As explained by the neurosurgeon who treated her, Keyoumars Ashkan :
Twenty years ago, the priority would have been to preserve a patient’s basic movement. We would not have dreamed of being able to protect the finest, most delicate, most absolute and critical executive aspect of the movement necessary in a violinist.
It was certainly a spectacle, but not unprecedented . In 2018, a woman played her flute in Texas while undergoing "deep brain stimulation" aimed at stopping her involuntary tremors. Later that year, a jazz musician made headlines for playing his guitar during a brain tumor removal in South Africa.