Unlike most surgeries, the patient — identified as GZ — played the saxophone throughout the entire operation in order to stay awake, according to a press release from Paideia International Hospital in Rome.
The surgery was led by Dr. Christian Brogna, a neurosurgeon and expert in complex tumor surgery and “awake surgery,” the release said.
Brogna was able to remove the tumor from the patient’s brain without compromising any of his neurological functions.
“The architectural complexity of the brain and its remarkable plasticity make the brain of each of us very different from each other,” Brogna explained. “Each brain is unique, as is each person.”
He said that awake surgery makes it possible to map with extreme precision during surgery, explaining that brain functions such as playing, speaking, moving, remembering and counting make it possible to map out that specific brain’s neuronal networks.
“The goal of awake surgery is to remove the brain tumor, or a vascular malformation, while preserving the patient’s quality of life,” Brogna said.
The procedure lasted over nine hours, and GZ played the saxophone the entire time. He can be seen playing the instrument in the video provided by the hospital above.