Man in China plays guitar during brain surgery

World Today

For over an hour, as doctors performed a brain surgery on a man Monday, the 57-year-old musician lay strumming his guitar.

The man known as “Li”, is from Northeast China’s Changchun in Jilin Province, and had been suffering from focal dystonia, a rare muscle disease.

Over time, the ailment resulted in his fingers stiffening, making it difficult for him to carry out daily tasks or play the guitar.

After years of attempting to treat the illness with medication, the musician finally turned to doctors in Shenzhen, in South China’s Guangdong Province.

“The major symptom of the disease is that you will not be able to repeat, or complete, activities that you are very familiar with, because your muscles become very stiff,” Cai Xiaodong, one of the doctors who treated Li told the Guangdong-based Southern Daily.

In examining the musician, doctors found that apart from suffering from focal dystonia, pathological changes over the years had also affected the man’s brain circuitry.

Following examinations, doctors concluded that “Li” needed to undergo a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).

DBS is a neuro-surgical procedure involving the implantation of a medical device called a neurostimulator (sometimes referred to as a brain pacemaker).
The machine sends electrical impulses through implanted electrodes to specific parts of the brain for the treatment of movement and affective disorders.

Deep Brain Stimulation in China

Although Deep Brain Stimulation isn’t new, this was the first time that the procedure was performed in China, according the Southern Daily.

Doctors had Li lie down in the operating room, holding his guitar. They asked him to strum the guitar and after years of having been denied the pleasure of feeling the strings move to the beat that he wanted them to, Li finally struck a chord.

“How do you feel after playing the first sound after years?” the doctors asked. “It feels like I’ve recovered over 80%,” Li said.

“The surgery has an immediate effect,” said doctor Cai after the procedure, adding that all “Li” needed now to enjoy full muscle function was rehabilitation and training.

Story by CCTV NEWS