A patient at a British hospital has played the violin while surgeons removed a tumour from her brain.
The unusual approach was taken to ensure areas of her brain, responsible for delicate hand movement and coordination, were not inadvertently damaged during the procedure.
53-year-old Dagmar Turner, a former management consultant from the Isle of Wight, was diagnosed in 2013 with a large grade two glioma after suffering a seizure during a symphony.
The violinist underwent a biopsy and then radiotherapy to keep the tumour at bay.
When it became apparent in autumn last yuear that the tumour had grown, Dagmar was keen for surgery to remove it.
After explaining concerns she had over losing the ability to play the violin, the team at King's College Hospital in London devised a plan.
Prior to the operation they 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.
They also discussed the idea of waking her mid-procedure so she could play.
A patient at King’s College Hospital in London has played the violin while surgeons removed a tumour from her brain pic.twitter.com/3Dq4tYS7cm
— PA Media (@PA) February 19, 2020
This would ensure the surgeons did not damage any crucial areas of the brain that controlled delicate hand movements specifically when playing the instrument.
Professor Keyoumars Ashkan is consultant neurosurgeon at King's College Hospital in London.
"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% of the tumour, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand."
Three days after the procedure, Dagmar was well enough to go home to her husband and son.
She will continue to be monitored by her local hospital.
Dagmar said: "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 needed to be in to play.
"Thanks to them I'm hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon."