In the first ever Live Brain Circuit Surgery performed in India, doctors operated on a musician as he strummed his guitar. Surgeons carefully burnt parts of his brain to relieve the young musician of a neurological movement disorder that cramped fingers on his left hand.
The seven-hour surgery at a city hospital relieved the youth of musician's dystonia, a condition that cramped three fingers on his left hand. He experienced the first cramps more than a year and a half ago while playing the guitar. Musician's dystonia occurs due to abnormal and involuntary flexion of muscles, because of rigorous use.
While the doctors operated on the part of his brains that triggered the abnormal muscle contractions, the guitar-freak stayed glued to his instrument to help them find the problem areas. Dr Sanjiv C C, a senior neurologist from University of British Columbia said, ""This problem occurred when he tried to play the instrument and real-time feedback was important for us to ascertain the exact location of the target to be repaired."
While the guitar strumming patient made the surgery seem like a cakewalk, extreme precision and caution were required. A special frame was fixed to the patient's head with screwed drilled into the skull. An MRI scan helped doctors zero in on the problem area. "In this case, the target area was about 8-9 cms deep in the brain. We then had coordinates of the entry point to the skull and the path through which we had to reach the target area," said Dr Sharan Srinivasan, HOD of Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital.
The patient is cured now. "I was amazed to see my fingers improve magically on the operation table itself. By the end of the surgery, my fingers were 100% cured and I could move them like before. Within three days of surgery, I walked out of the hospital all set to play guitar again," he said.
A similar case happened back in 2013, when a man named Brad Carter played guitar during his own brain surgery and allowed the doctors to live stream the surgery on Twitter.