A musician had a brain tumor removed in Rome, Italy this week in a nine-hour surgery that he spent not only awake and fully conscious, but playing his saxophone. Dr. Christian Brogna, a neurosurgeon and expert in awake surgery, told CBS News the tumor was removed successfully and that there were no negative impacts on the patient. "The tumor was located in a very, very complex area of the brain. Moreover, the patient is left-handed. This makes things more complex because the neural pathways of the brain are much more complicated," said Brogna. During the preparation for the surgery, the patient, known only as C.Z., told the medical team that preserving his musical ability was essential to him. Having the patient play the saxophone during the surgery allowed Brogna to map different functions to the brain as he operated. During the preparations for this and any other brain surgery, Brogna said the team looks at the entire person, not just the pathology – with a goal of ensuring that through surgery they preserve the patient's personality, how they feel emotions, and how they get through life.

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