You may have seen the video that went viral this week of a patient at a British hospital playing the violin while surgeons removed a tumor from her brain.
The reason was so doctors could make sure they preserved her ability to play music.
Awake surgeries are becoming more common, including right here in Wisconsin.
Dr. Sara Pillay is an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Neurology.
She sits with patients during awake surgeries and interacts with them.
“We do testing of different functions while the neurosurgeon is planning his or her approach,” Pillay tells WTMJ, “or while they’re working to resect tissue. It provides an additional piece of data for the neurosurgeon to use, where he can really monitor real-time behavioral performance.”
Pillay says they primarily do language mapping, which can include repeating words, answering clues, or naming pictures.
For much more from Pillay on Wisconsin’s Morning News, click in the player below.