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Weird World: Woman plays the violin during brain surgery

A woman successfully had a brain tumour removed while playing her violin.

Professional musician Dagmar Turner underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumour at the King’s College Hospital in London, UK.

She started the operation under general anaesthetics, but surgeons woke Dagmar to play her instrument – helping medics to avoid the area of her brain used in playing the violin.

The musician revealed she came up with the suggestion to play during the operation and admitted it means a lot to be able to continue playing the instrument.

She said: “This is my life, this is what I do in my spare time and I enjoy it an awful lot.”

She was diagnosed in 2013 with a brain tumour after suffering a seizure during a symphony.

Her tumour was located in the right frontal lobe of her brain, close to an area that controls the fine movement of her left hand.

Neurosurgeon Professor Keyoumars Ashkan admitted that doctors had to be wary of the “finer details” of playing the violin.

He said: “Length of the string, pressure on the string, all those fast movements moving from one string to another. So that is what was unusual for us.”

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Prof Ashkan said: “We managed to remove over 90 per cent of the tumour, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity while retaining full function in her left hand.”

Prior to surgery, doctors spent two hours carefully mapping her brain to identify areas that were active when she played the violin and those responsible for controlling language and movement.

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