Surgeons in Spain have become the first in Europe to successfully removed a brain tumour while the patient was conscious and playing a musical instrument.
Specialists were able to monitor the neurological activity in 27-year-old Carlos Aguilera’s brain while he played his saxophone in the hospital in Malaga.
The jazz performance, in front of an audience of 16 medics, helped to ensure the operation did not impact on his ability to play music in the future.
Neurosurgeon Guillermo Ibáñez said having Aguilera play was the only way to operate without damaging the part of the brain involved in musical language.
Aguilera, who was told he had a brain tumour after suffering dizzy spells, said: “Music is what has accompanied me half a lifetime, so when the doctors told me I could do that, I did not think twice.”