A Unique Concert, Man Plays Beatles While Undergoing Brain Surgery
An unusual musician serenaded surgeons in the operating room as they performed a delicate surgery to remove a brain tumor 2 weeks ago. Anthony Kulkamp Dias, the 33 year old Brazilian patient, remained awake throughout his brain tumor operation by singing and playing his guitar for an audience of surgeons, including a rendition of the Beatles’ song Yesterday.
According to the Telegraph, this new surgical technique allows doctors and surgeons to map brain function, activity, and improvement as they operate. Precision is incredibly important when dealing with the areas of the brain that control motor function, speech, and sensory input, so being able to map the effects of their surgery on the patient’s brain function in real time is a revolutionary.
Since the brain tissue itself does not have pain receptors (brainline.org), this unique approach to brain surgery has become possible with new advancements in medicine. Anesthesiologists still play an important role since the skin and other parts of the skull do have pain sensors; they focus on keeping the patient pain-free, yet conscious throughout the procedure. This is where heavily cerebral activities such as playing music and conversation come into play.
Kulkamp was diagnosed with the brain tumor just 15 days after the birth of his newborn son. It severely affected his speech, along with other cerebral functions. His symptoms included severe stammering and the inability to say names and other simple words. Though he is currently employed at a Brazilian bank, Kulkamp played the guitar professionally for 20 years previously. His unique operation room performance included a rendition of the Beatles’ Yesterday along with several Brazilian folk tunes, and a song he wrote for his newborn son. He also took breaks from playing to rest and speak with the surgeons, yet remained conscious throughout the entire procedure.
In the case of violinist Naomi Elishuv (Huffington Post), who underwent a similar procedure for tremors in her brain at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, her playing improved dramatically throughout the course of surgery. As shown in the video, surgeons were able to pinpoint the location of the tremors by listening to improvements in her rendition of Mozart.
Now, thanks to the medical staff at Nossa Senhora da Coneição Hospital in Santa Catarina, Kulkamp will be able to serenade his wife and newborn son from the comfort of home as he is now on the road to recovery.