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Jan 7, 2009

Awake Brain Surgery Performed

K.G. Hospital here did a brain surgery recently during which the patient kept talking to the surgeons, helping them know whether he was developing any complication. This was done on a 35-year-old man from Kurumbapalayam in Coimbatore District who had been suffering from epilepsy. The surgery involved the removal of the affected portion of the brain that caused seizures in the patient. Describing this as a rare procedure, hospital Chairman G. Bakthavathsalam explained in a press release that the patient was given local anaesthesia, his skull bone was removed, the duro opened and an electro cardiogram was done.

The wires were kept on the surface of the brain and an electroencephalogram was also done to identify the abnormal area in the brain where the seizures originated. While the surgeons kept talking to the patient, they made sure that the speech was kept intact and that his hands functioned normally. Any slight change in the patient’s speech would have led to the surgeon stopping the operation in order to prevent any damage to the brain, the Chairman said.

Chief Neurosurgeon M. Natarajan and his team of surgeons removed the affected portion and the patient was now rid of seizures, the release said. The entire procedure involved a multi-disciplinary approach, he said. Epilepsy patients were examined by a neurosurgeon, neurologist, speech pathologist and epileptologist to be found fit for awake brain surgery. The patient at K.G. Hospital had been taking anti-convulsion drugs for 12 years, but still suffered from fits that prevented him from doing his regular work. Persons like him were categorised as those suffering from intractable seizures that were not controlled even with adequate, prolonged anti-convulsion drugs. They were fit cases for brain surgery.

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