Violinist plays her instrument during her brain tumour surgery

WION Web Team London, United Kingdom Feb 20, 2020, 01.35 PM(IST)

Violinist Dagmar Turner playing her violin during her brain tumour surgery at King's College Hospital, London Photograph:( AFP )

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The tumour, in her right frontal lobe, was dangerously close to areas of her brain that were responsible for coordinating delicate movements in her left hand. 

A violinist helped surgeons avoid damage to her brain during surgery to remove a tumour by playing her instrument.

Dagmar Turner's neurosurgeon Dr Keyoumars Ashkan had asked her to play her instrument to ensure that the professional violinist's musical abilities were not damaged during tumour removal.

The 53-year-old played her violin during her brain tumour surgery at King's College Hospital in London.

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The tumour, in her right frontal lobe, was dangerously close to areas of her brain that were responsible for coordinating delicate movements in her left hand. 

In an interview before the surgery, the violinist said "the violin is my passion. I've been playing since I was 10-years-old and the thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking."

"We perform around 400 tumour removals each year, which often involves rousing patients to carry out language tests, but this was the first time I've had a patient play an instrument," Ashkan said in a press release after the surgery.

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Before the procedure, a team of medical experts spent two hours mapping Turner's brain to figure out which areas were active when she played the violin.

Doctors managed to successfully remove over 90 per cent of the tumour without damaging Turner's fine motor skills.

She went home to her husband and son three days after the procedure.

"I'm hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon," Turner said after the surgery.

She plays with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra.