HEALTH

Brazilian man strums guitar while undergoing brain surgery

Instead of screaming in pain during brain surgery, a Brazilian man was strumming a guitar.

Anthony Kullkamp Dias was undergoing an advanced form of brain mapping before having a brain tumor removed and the Brazilian banker needed to stay awake during the complicated operation.

Most people who undergo the procedure generally will read aloud or just answer questions from doctors, but Dias – who has played guitar for 20 years – instead decided have a jam session on the operating table. While George Harrison he is not, a video of the procedure does show Dias playing a guitar and belting out The Beatles' iconic hit "Yesterday."

The guitar playing not be common – although actor and musician Brad Carter did something similar during surgery in 2013 – keeping patients awake while doctors poke around inside the cranium is more frequently done than one would think. Using the latest anesthetics to numb out the patient, doctors can extract dangerous tumors that sit near important brain regions without causing harm to their patients.

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Patients have to stay awake during the procedure so surgeons don’t damage the part of their brain that controls speech, motor function or memory.

Once they apply electrical stimulation to different parts of the brain to see where the vulnerable areas are located, the patients will then be put to sleep and their tumor can be removed.

In Dias’ case, the surgery was successful, with 90 percent of the tumor removed and no damage to his speech, motor skills or other functions. The guitar also proved helpful because if Dias stumbled over forming a chord or suddenly forgot a lyric, doctors would have known they were in a bad zone of the brain.

That or Dias isn’t as good a guitar player as purported.

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