Violinist plays as her brain tumor is removed

Posted on: February 21, 2020

“As doctors in London performed surgery on Dagmar Turner’s brain, the sound of a violin filled the operating room. The music came from the patient on the operating table,” who was having a brain tumor removed, writes Merrit Kennedy on Wednesday (2/19) at National Public Radio. “The King’s College Hospital surgeons woke her up in the middle of the operation in order to ensure they did not compromise parts of the brain necessary for playing the violin, such as parts that control precise hand movements and coordination…. Turner, 53, learned that she had a slow-growing tumor in 2013. Late last year, doctors found that it had become more aggressive and the violinist decided to have surgery to remove it…. [Her surgeon], an accomplished pianist, and his colleagues came up with a plan to keep the hand’s functions intact…. ‘The violin is my passion; I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old,’ Turner said…. The surgery was a success … [In] an ‘awake craniotomy’ … doctors are now able to map the patient’s brain activity in great detail before the surgery using an imaging technique called functional MRI…. Brain mapping also can help determine what kinds of functions are at risk during a brain surgery.”