A lover of music never fails to play guitar even when his brain is bared open for surgery by doctors. So is this Brazilian musician, Anthony Kulkamp Dias, 33, who continued his passion for 20 years even on the operation table while doctors were busy removing his brain tumour.
He was asked to remain conscious as doctors feared lapse of memory if he is put to coma during the operation as is the case with many brain operations and the singer chose to play his guitar at Nossa Senhora da Conceição Hospital in Santa Catarina. One of the songs he played for doctors was Beatles’ hit “Yesterday” and five more numbers during operation.
“I played 6 songs at determined moments,” Dias told ‘G1 Brasil’ news website. “My right hand was a bit weaker because that was the side that they were operating on. So I stopped and rested. I was interspersing songs and talking with them,” he told the website.
The tumour was discovered few months ago and Dias, a bank worker by job, and his situation worsened over the period forcing him undergo the operation. The doctors advised him to remain active during the operation as it allows them to map the patient’s brain function and avoid injury that could affect his key brain functions. Cerebral monitoring ensures sensory, motor, and speech areas remain intact during the procedure lest they may be lost if done in induced coma in such surgeries.
Another reason is that the brain tissue does not have pain sensors as is the skin or other body parts have and the anesthetists strive to keep the patient awake and pain-free in such operations of the brain.
Dr. Jean Abreu Machado, director of the hospital said, “By keeping the patient awake during surgery, these areas can be monitored in real time. A kind of mapping of important areas can be done.” Dias was successfully discharged after the operation and he is back to playing his guitar in public now.
In the past, a Lithuanian violinist by name Naomi Elishuv serenaded surgeons at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center with Mozart during the operation of his brain.