Incredible Health

To keep her voice, patient sings her way through throat surgery

Stock photo of an operating room.

Stock photo of an operating room.  (AP Photo/The State Journal, Al Goldis)

When Alama Kante had surgery to remove a parathyroid tumor from her throat, one tiny slip of the scalpel could have caused her to lose her singing voice—and she's a professional singer.

So, in an unprecedented move, she sang throughout the surgery at France's Henri Mondor hospital in April to help surgeons avoid her vocal cords, the BBC reports.

Doctors gave her just a local anesthetic, and she was also hypnotized to help manage the pain. Her surgeon presented a video of the procedure at a press conference this weekend.

Among the lyrics she sang: "Fight, never give up." The songs she sang came from her new album, the Telegraph notes. "The pain of such an operation is intolerable if you are fully awake. Only hypnosis enables you to stand it," her surgeon told a French newspaper.

The Guinean native "went into a trance listening to the words of the hypnotist. She went a long way away, to Africa. And she began to sing—it was amazing." Kante, who has since made a full recovery, tells Reuters, "I remember (during surgery) this voice singing all the time, my voice going around in my head because I said to myself it is out of the question that I lose my voice." But, she says, she did feel pain at one point, but then "it passed ... and afterwards it was normal, as if I were in a dream." (In Bolivia, surgery recently cured the laughing fits of a 6-year-old girl who had been called "devil-possessed.")

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