In the middle of brain surgery, a musician plays her violin in order to preserve her gift

In the middle of the operating room, a young woman interpreted pieces of music while the surgeons were removing her brain tumor.

The pictures are impressive. Dagmar Turner is a British violinist with a brain tumour. During her operation, which took place at King’s College Hospital in London, in 2020, she played her violin . Indeed, the musician , then aged 53, wanted at all costs to avoid losing the use of her left hand.

At the start of his delicate operation, Dagmar Turner underwent a craniectomy under anesthesia, a surgical procedure consisting in cutting part of the cranial box. After this first stage, she was awakened by the doctors. The violinist was able to play Mahler and Gershwin while surgeons were removing her tumor.

In order to allow him to play, the surgeons developed a technique to verify in real time that the areas of the brain responsible for the movement of the hands were not affected during the operation.

This impressive technique was intended to protect important cells located in the right lobe of the patient’s brain. This area, located near the operated area, controls the left hand.

If Dagmar Turner absolutely wanted to preserve her hand it is because she is a member of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra. Her musical gift represents what she possesses most preciously: » The idea of ​​not being able to play anymore broke my heart ,» she explained.

It was in 2013 that the musician learned that she had a slowly growing brain tumor . His operation is then scheduled when the tumor develops. This atypical operation was very well supervised by the professionals of the hospital. Prior to the operation, surgeons mapped the active areas of her brain as she played.

This type of surgery is a first for Professor Ashkan: “It was the first time that a patient played an instrument . We were able to remove over 90% of the tumor, including all areas of suspected aggressive activity, while retaining full function of his left hand.»

Today Dagmar Turner has only one idea in mind: to return to his orchestra. She also warmly thanked the surgeons.

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