(CNN/AP) – “Awake brain surgery” isn’t just something you see on your favorite TV medical drama.
It happens more than you might think, and it happened in London at King’s College Hospital as Dagmar Turner played the violin.
The approach was taken to make sure the surgery didn’t impact the 53-year-old concert violinist’s ability to play.
In fact, awake brain surgery has become a common tool used by neurosurgeons in order to preserve a patient’s brain function.
Doctors for Turner mapped her brain before the surgery to identify areas that were active when she played the instrument and those responsible for controlling language and movement.
Doctors then woke her in mid-procedure so she could play. That was done to make sure they did not damage areas of the brain that controlled her delicate hand movements.
Turner’s brain tumor was successfully removed without impairing her musical talent.
She’s been discharged from the hospital and is recovering at home. She should be able to return to her chair at the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra soon.
Turner was full of praise for her surgeon, a fellow music lover.