Musician plays guitar during brain surgery in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, (IANS) A 37-year-old musician played guitar while a nerve disorder in his brain was stimulated at a private hospital in the city recently, said a neurosurgeon on Thursday.

“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 here.

Post-operation, a beaming Prasad, who hails from Bihar, but settled in this tech hub, displayed proficiency by playing guitar at ease nine days after his skull was drilled and operated upon to set right the disorder in his four fingers.

Touted to be the first such brain circuit surgery in the country, the delicate operation involved passing an electrode 8-9cm through a 14mm hole into the brain and stimulating a specific nerve to confirm the right location and prevent any side-effect or complications to other circuits.

“After reconfirming the target location, a radio frequency 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,” noted Srinivasan.

Ahead of the surgery, Prasad underwent a MRI (magnetic resonance imagery) guided ablation, which enabled him to have relief from his symptoms on the operation table.

“It is a rare disorder that occurs to one per cent of professional musicians. Surgery is the only option to cure it when medicines can’t do,” asserted neurologist C.C. Sanjiv after Prasad removed stitches on his head and celebrated the occasion in the hospital.

Prasad is the eighth musician the world over and first in India to undergo such a complex surgery to cure the symptom called dystonia.

Prasad’s love for music and passion to play guitar made him quit a regular job five years ago in 2012 and trained to become a professional musician for a living.

“As fate would have it, the disorder in the nerve connected to the left hand fingers made the little finger stiff with no movement and the symptom spread to other three fingers,” Prasad recalled.

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