A patient who is also a musician known as GZ played his saxophone for his entire 9-hour complex brain awake surgery.
The team at Rome’s Paideia International Hospital operated on the 35-year-old man, identified only as GZ, in order to remove his brain tumor.
The patient underwent an “awake surgery,” so doctors could ensure they wouldn’t compromise his neurological functions, the hospital stated in a press release.
Surgery leader and neurosurgeon Dr. Christian Brogna said:
“Each brain is unique, as is each person. Awake surgery makes it possible to map with extreme precision during surgery the neuronal networks that underlie the various brain functions such as playing, speaking, moving, remembering, counting.”
“Every awake surgery not only allows to obtain the maximum result in terms of removal of the pathology, but it is a real discovery.”
“Each time it offers us a window into the functioning of this fascinating, but still in many ways mysterious organ, which is the brain.”
Since GZ stated that his musical ability was his most valuable possession, the team allowed GZ to play the saxophone during “awake surgery” proved useful to the team, because it allowed them to witness the brain functions he utilized to play.
GZ later told the hospital he felt tranquility rather than fear during his surgery, which lasted over nine hours. CBS reported that he returned to his normal life after the surgery.
More than 10 medical professionals benefitted from GZ’s playing as they worked on their patients.
The complex surgery was supplemented by numerous advanced technologies, including a specific tracer that helps differentiate cancer cells from surrounding healthy tissue.