Awake surgery: A musician in Rome, who went under the blade for removal of a brain tumor, played the saxophone during the entire 9-hour long awake surgery. The 35-year old patient, identified as GZ, remained conscious during the procedure performed on him at Rome’s Paideia International Hospital on Monday. He was discharged early Thursday morning.
GZ played the theme song from the 1970 movie ‘Love Story,’ and the Italian national anthem throughout the 9-hour surgery. GZ later said he did not feel fear. Instead he was quite tranquil during his brain surgery.
The hospital said the patient was kept awake so that doctors could ensure that they are not compromising his neurological functions.
Dr Christian Brogna, who performed the surgery, is a neurosurgeon and expert in awake surgery. He said the tumor was removed successfully, and that there were no negative impacts on the patient. Brogna led a highly specialized 10-member international team for the procedure, using state-of-the-art technology.
“The tumor was located in a very, very complex area of the brain,” said Brogna. “Moreover, the patient is left-handed. This makes things more complicated because the neural pathways of the brain are much more complicated.”
Before the surgery, GZ told doctors about his music abilities and it proved useful for the doctors, as it allowed the team to map different functions of the brain.
Later in a press release, the doctor said, “The goal of awake surgery is to remove the brain tumor or a vascular malformation such as cavernomas located in specific areas of the brain while preserving the patient’s quality of life.”
Brogna said he was proud that his patient had been able to go back to his normal life, and proud that with each operation, knowledge of this branch of medicine is advancing, CBS reported.