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WATCH: Patient Plays Violin While Surgeons Remove Her Brain Tumour

A patient at a British hospital played Mahler and Gershwin on the violin while a tumour was removed from her brain so that surgeons could preserve her ability to play music and her 40-year passion for the instrument.

Dagmar Turner, 53, a former management consultant from the Isle of Wight, played her violin during an operation on January 31 to remove a tumour from the right frontal lobe of her brain - close to the area that controls the fine movement of her left hand.

A patient at a British hospital played Mahler and Gershwin on the violin while a tumour was removed from her brain so that surgeons could preserve her ability to play music. Image: KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL

To prevent any damage to her violin skills, Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, Consultant Neurosurgeon at King's College Hospital, came up with a plan: they would map her brain, open the skull and then get her to play as they removed the tumour.

While surgeons cut away part of her brain, Turner played music by Gustav Mahler, George Gershwin's jazz classic "Summertime" and pieces by Spanish songwriter and singer Julio Iglesias.

Ashkan said it was the first time a patient had played an instrument while he performed surgery.

He said the procedure was a success, removing over 90 per cent of Turner's tumour, including the more aggressive areas, while retaining full function in her left hand.

Turner thanked the surgeons, saying the violin was her passion, having started playing at the age of 10.

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