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Patient Plays Violin While Doctors Remove Tumour From Her Brain

Patient Plays Violin While Doctors Remove Tumour From Her Brain

Incredible footage has emerged showing a patient playing the violin while doctors removed a tumour from her brain.

This isn't some keyhole surgery they're doing at Kings College NHS Foundation Trust, they've properly opened up the back of her head.

Dagmar Turner, from the Isle of Wight, was booked in to have a the tumour removed after being diagnosed with a large grade 2 (slow growing) glioma in 2013. After a bout of radiotherapy failed to keep it at bay, the 53-year-old dedicated violinist opted to have it taken out.

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While it might seem strange to have a patient doing things during a delicate procedure, it's actually really beneficial for everyone in the operating theatre.

According to King's College, Dagmar was asked to play some tunes so that doctors could ensure 'areas of the patient's brain responsible for delicate hand movement and coordination - crucial components when playing violin - were not inadvertently damaged during the millimetre-precise procedure'.

Credit: Kings College NHS Foundation Trust
Credit: Kings College NHS Foundation Trust

Because she plays with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra and various choral societies, surgeons knew they had to be very careful with Dagmar's brain. The tumour was located in near the region that controls fine motor movements, which only made the surgery more stressful.

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King's College Hospital Consultant Neurosurgeon Professor Keyoumars Ashkan said: "King's is one of the largest brain tumour centres in the UK. We perform around 400 resections (tumour removals) each year, which often involves rousing patients to carry out language tests, but this was the first time I've had a patient play an instrument.

"We knew how important the violin is to Dagmar so it was vital that we preserved function in the delicate areas of her brain that allowed her to play. We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand."

Credit: Kings College NHS Foundation Trust
Credit: Kings College NHS Foundation Trust

Dagmar's surgery was a massive success and she was discharged from hospital three days after her operation.

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She said: "The violin is my passion; I've been playing since I was 10 years old. The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking but, being a musician himself, Prof Ashkan understood my concerns.

"He and the team at King's went out of their way to plan the operation - from mapping my brain to planning the position I needed to be in to play. Thanks to them I'm hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon."

That would have been one operation you wouldn't wanted to have missed.

Featured Image Credit: Kings College NHS Foundation Trust

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Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.