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Indian Musician played the guitar during his brain surgery

04 September 2017 - 14:35


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On the 11th of July, an Indian Musician named Abhishek Prasad, had a live brain circuit surgery done on him, as he played his guitar!

"We conducted a live brain circuit surgery on Abhishek Prasad to stimulate his left hand fingers even as he strummed his guitar in the operation theatre on July 11," Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain Hospital neurosurgeon Sharan Srinivasan told reporters.

Doctors asked Prasad to play every time they burnt a circuit in his brain, in order to treat a condition known as 'musician's dystonia.' The musician spoke to BBC explaining that he was able to play his guitar with ease about nine days after his surgery "by the sixth burn, my fingers opened up. I was normal on the operating table itself," Mr Prasad said a week after his operation in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

The condition causes painful spasms, abnormal postures or twisting and repetitive movements. Prasad was unable to move the middle, ring, and little finger of his left hand when he played the guitar due to the Dystonia.

"I thought the stiffness was because of over practice. I took a break and tried again and realised that there was no respite from the stiffness. Some doctors told me it was muscle fatigue and I was given painkillers, multi-vitamins, antibiotics, physiotherapy etc," he said. "I was advised to undergo brain surgery, but I got scared. But my doctor, Sharan Srinivasan, gave me the confidence to do it."

Abhishek Prasad is the eighth musician in the world, and the first in India to undergo such a complex surgery to cure dystonia, which is said to occur to one percent of professional musicians.

The musician said he remembers every detail of the procedure vividly. Prasad explained that doctors fixed a frame with four screws on his head in order to cut open his skull before conducting an MRI scan. "The scan helped in assessing how deep the electrodes could be inserted to correct the circuits inside the brain." he further added that though it felt like a 'generator was on during the operation' he felt no pain.

Speaking about the surgery, Dr. Srinivasan said that the reason he did not feel pain is because the operation was conducted under local anaesthesia.

"After reconfirming the target location, a radiofrequency lesion was made using a RF ablation machine. As the surgery was on, Prasad was conscious and played guitar, as the disorder used to manifest when he tried to play the instrument. The live feedback was important for us to ascertain the exact location to be lesioned." explained Dr. Srinivasan, regarding the surgery.

He also added that the live brain circuit surgery was an important milestone for India.


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