brain surgery

Yes, folks, you read that title correctly. When Dagmar Turner learned she had to have brain surgery to remove a tumor, she was concerned about losing her ability to play the violin. Her surgeons wanted to give her the best possible opportunity to retain her musical gift, so they had Dagmar awake and playing her violin as they worked to free the tumor from her brain. The video of Dagmar’s surgery certainly highlights the miracles of modern medicine.

Brain Tumor Surgery

Professional Violinist Dagmar Turner was diagnosed with a brain tumor after experiencing a seizure during a symphony.

Her consulting neurosurgeon, Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, came up with the idea of having her play the violin during her surgery. Ashkan believed that would decrease the risk of Dagmar losing her musical talents.

Dagmar actively playing the violin during surgery would help her doctors to know which areas of the brain controlled those fine motor skills.

The 53-year-old would have her brain surgery at King’s College in London.

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From Sky News:

Surgeons mapped her brain, opened the skull and then got her to play the violin as the tumour was removed.

Footage shows her picking up the instrument during the surgery and playing scales with her eyes shut.

“This was the first time I’ve had a patient play an instrument,” he said.

It is fascinating to watch Dagmar play the violin as her skull was opened and doctors cut a tumor out of her brain.

You would think the normal reaction to having your head cut open would be to be frightened. But, instead, Dagmar seems totally at ease and engrossed in playing the instrument that she loves.

Her concern that she be able to continue playing the violin so strong that it cancels out any fear. And so Dagmar plays skillfully while on the operating table as the surgeons work skillfully to heal her and retain her talent.

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Successful Brain Surgery

“The violin is my passion,” she said. “I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old. The thought of losing my ability to play was heartbreaking.”

This rather unorthodox approach to brain surgery ending up being quite a success.

“We managed to remove over 90% of the tumour, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand,” Ashkan said.

Dagmar thanked her surgeons for preserving her lifelong ability to play the violin. It has been her passion for over 40 years and thanks to her surgeons and Dr. Ashkan’s creative thinking, that will continue, hopefully for many more years.

Watch the video of Dagmar Turner’s amazing surgery below.

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