Carlos Aguilera: Man plays saxophone during 12-hour brain surgery

The 27-year-old saxophonist was conscious during surgery to remove a brain tumour

Charlie Atkin
Friday 18 December 2015 12:45 GMT
Spain: Patient plays saxophone while surgeons remove brain tumour

A brain surgery patient has been filmed playing the saxophone during a 12-hour operation.

Carlos Aguilera, a 27-year-old saxophonist from Malaga, Spain, underwent the surgery conscious in Carlos Haya Hospital back in October.

Brain surgery patients can sometimes be left awake to provide input during the operation to help prevent unnecessary damage.

The complex procedure involved in removing a brain tumour has been likened by doctors to 'removing a spider from jelly'. The main body may be removed but a stray leg can be left behind.

A patient under sedatives but not general anesthetic, such as Mr Aguilera, can offer responses during surgery to avoid removing too much or too little of the tumour.

(BBC News)

Mr Aguilera's neurosurgeon, Guillermo Ibanez, commented that such input was very important during the final stages of the operation.

"It was very important that he played in the final stages of the brain tumour removal, as we were very close to the part of the brain that is the listening cortex," said Dr. Ibanez.

Mr Aguilera himself was astonished when watching the videos back.

"It felt like lying on the beach," said the patient. "I couldn't imagine that it was like I saw later on the videos."

"Two months ago, I was laid out on a stretcher and now I can say life is waiting for me as if I had been born again."

The operation lasted 12 hours and involved 16 heath professionals including three neurosurgeons, two neuropsychologists, three neurophysiologists, an anesthesiologist, five nurses, a nursing assistant and a caretaker.

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