A musician played the guitar on the operation table as he underwent a surgery at a private hospital in Bengaluru for a rare movement disorder affecting guitarists. The successful brain circuit surgery, believed to be the first such operation in the country, was performed on July 11 by a team of doctors from Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain Hospital on 37-year-old Abishek Prasad, who has a passion for the guitar, to rid him of the neurological disorder ‘guitarist dystonia’ that had crippled his fingers.
During the entire surgery, the patient was fully awake and was playing the guitar as the problem only occurred when he tried playing guitar. So the feedback from the patient was important to get the exact location of the target, doctors told reporters on Friday.
Expressing joy over the successful procedure, Prasad, a native of Bihar, said even the doctor did not expect 100 per cent result.
“It was a great feeling for both me and the doctor. It was 100 per cent result on the operation table itself. I’m very excited, finally now I can live my dream, can play my guitar again after one month of recovery…
“Now my fingers are completely listening to me, earlier my fingers were erect and changing from one chord to other was difficult,” he added.
Prasad had developed the problem with his left hand fingers resulting in difficulty to move his little finger, and the trouble grew gradually into disability because of which he had to abandon playing guitar.
After consulting various specialists, Prasad was referred to the doctors at the BMJ hospital here.
Calling it a rare disorder, neurologist Dr Sanjiv C C who specialises in movement disorders, said it occurs to one per cent among professional musicians.
“If the medical management that included Botulinum toxin and drugs fails, then surgery is the next option,” he said.
The doctors decided to perform a stereotactic MRI guided right ventralis oralis thalamotomy, a very delicate brain circuit surgery.
Explaining the surgery procedures, Dr Sharan Srinivasan, Stereotactic & Functional Neurosurgeon & HOD of Neurosciences at the Jain Hospital, said a 14-mm hole was made in the skull and a specialised electrode was passed into the brain under local anesthesia.
Noting that the brain was stimulated by doctors to confirm the right location, he said, “after confirming the target location, a radio frequency lesion was made using a specialised RF ablation machine. 5-7 lesions were made, each at 60-70 degree centigrade and for 30-40 seconds.”
The hospital charges came to about Rs 2 lakh, doctors said.