Jazz musician plays guitar during brain surgery

Doctors wanted to preserve the patient's ability to move his fingers 

Chelsea Ritschel
Friday 21 December 2018 18:13
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Jazz musician Musa Manzini plays guitar during brain surgery

A jazz musician who played his guitar during brain surgery is expected to make a full recovery.

Musa Manzini, from South Africa, was kept awake during a six-hour craniotomy to remove a recurring brain tumour in the hopes of preserving his finger movements.

The decision to perform an awake operation, which took place at Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban, was made after doctors took “into consideration my career as a musician,” Manzini told IOL.

According to the music lecturer and award-winning musician, the tumour is from a neurological condition he has suffered with since 2006.

As the operation took place in a sensitive part of the brain that can impact function and motor skills, the team of specialist neurosurgeons, led by Dr Basil Enicker and Dr Rohen Harrichandparsad, tested and identified certain areas of the brain while performing the surgery using electrodes placed directly on the surface.

“In this way, we can test regions of the brain before they are removed,” Dr Enicker said. “This allows for increased removal of the tumour, while minimising damage to the brain.”

In the video of the operation, Manzini can be seen strumming the guitar as doctors perform surgery on his brain.

Following the surgery, Manzini expressed his gratitude towards the surgeons and other healthcare professionals who go the extra mile for their patients.

As for his plans post-surgery, Manzini told News24: “I am looking forward to getting back into the studio and recording another album. I have a lot of material that I have written and that I still need to record.”

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According to the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation, the risks of an awake craniotomy are comparable to the risks of one conducted under general anaesthesia, however, there is a small risk of seizures when the patient is awake.

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