If you find it easier to work with music in the background, it shouldn't be a surprise that brain surgeons do too. It's just that you might not expect the music to be performed by the patient.
However, this is the new trend in operating theaters, if you can call two cases a trend. Last year, we brought you the tale of Roger Frisch, who had a specially constructed violin that allowed him to play through his surgery. This enabled the surgeons to tell when they had placed electrodes at the right point to control the tremors that were interfering with his playing.
Frisch's circumstance was unique, but it is common for surgeons to conduct awake brain surgery to get constant feedback when removing brain tumors in order to ensure they're not cutting into something important.
When operating on musician Anthony Kulkamp Dias, Brazilian surgeons could have just had him recite the times tables or something equally boring. But really, why miss the chance to have him play music during the nine-hour operation? It's no doubt far more enjoyable, and it means they got to test Dias' speech centers, memory and motor control at the same time.
In addition to his performance of The Beatles classic, Dias treated the staff to one of his own works and some Brazilian folk songs. “The doctors asked me to repeat one of the country songs so I even had an encore,” Dias told Brazilian site G1.
Dias became aware something was wrong when he started forgetting familiar names and stuttering. With 90% of his tumor now removed, surgeons at Nossa Senhora da Conceição hospital consider the operation a success and have discharged Dias. And yes, the operation was done under local anesthetic, so he was in no pain.