PLANNING A HEAD

Watch a musician play the guitar while having brain surgery

Brain surgery is not usually an interactive affair.
Brain surgery is not usually an interactive affair.
Image: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo
By
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

A musician had an operation in South Africa to remove most of a brain tumor—and played the guitar while it was happening.

Musa Manzini, a jazz musician, was able to do so because he was given a local anesthetic during the six-hour “awake craniotomy” at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital in Durban. ”There you are, do your thing,” one of the medical staff told him as he began playing.

The doctor in charge, Rohen Harrichandparsad, said that having Manzini awake and playing allowed him to test his “ability to produce music” and make sure they weren’t damaging him in any way. The staff removed 90% of the tumor.

It’s not the first time such an event has happened. In 2017, another musician played the saxophone during brain surgery and an opera singer performed through his surgery in 2015 (paywall).