Played by Wilmer Valderrama, Kyle Diaz, a guitarist with multiple sclerosis, was featured in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12. Doctors asked him to play the guitar while they were performing a surgery on his brain to stop his hand tremor.
The scene was very similar to what happened recently at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durbanr, eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal. Led by Dr. Rohen Harrichandparsad and Dr. Basil Enicker, a team of specialist resident neurosurgeons performed a brain surgery on jazz musician Musa Manzini to remove a recurring tumor.
To make sure Marzini neither suffers from paralysis nor loss functions in the part of his brain that controls voluntary movement, the doctors gave him local anaesthetic. He remained awake during the six-hour procedure called awake craniotomy.
It was important for the doctors to preserve Manzini’s fingers’ guitar skills and motor function considering that he is a musician. Toward the end of the procedure, the doctors asked Manzini to play the guitar to test parts of his brain before they were removed.
“It increased the margin of safety for us, in that we could have real-time feedback on what we were doing,” The Guardian quoted Harrichandparsad as saying. The doctor explained that they asked Manzini to play the guitar during the operation to test his ability to produce music, which requires a complex interaction of pathways in his brain.
Enicker added that their main aim was to make sure that they do the best they could for their patient. He added that 90 percent of the tumor in Manzini’s brain had been removed and he was recuperating in his home near Durban.
“The decision to perform an awake craniotomy rather than one under general anaesthesia was motivated by Dr. Enicker’s concern to preserve and restore my finger movements, taking into consideration my career as a musician,” IOL quoted Manzini as saying. Awake craniotomy is used for patients undergoing surgical procedures in the areas of the brain that can cause paralysis or sensory or speech problems if removed, Enicker explained.
On December 21, 2018, Manzini took to Facebook to thank not only Harrichandparsad and Enicker but also anaesthetist Jorge Cardoso and the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. Watch the South African jazz musician playing the guitar during the awake craniotomy here: