Incredible video shows surgeons removing an epileptic man’s brain tumour while he is awake and reciting sacred verses from a Hindu prayer
- Doctors found Hulasmal Jangir, 30, had a tumour after three months of seizures
- Surgery to remove his tumour could have led to loss of speech of paralysis
- In a specialist hospital in India, surgeons gave him an awake craniotomy
An epileptic man was asked to recite sacred verses of a Hindu prayer while surgeons operated to remove a brain tumour.
Hulasmal Jangir, from Bikaner, India, had been refused brain surgery at other hospitals because of the dangers of speech-loss or paralysis, local reports state.
But doctors at Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Jaipur, said they could operate on the 30-year-old and ensure his speech was unaffected, if he remained awake.
Mr Jangir underwent the operation, which proved successful, while he was conscious and reciting a the prayer.
Doctors at Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Jaipur, said they could operate on Hulasmal Jangir to remove his brain tumour and ensure his speech was unaffected if he remained awake
Mr Hulasmal, 30, was awake throughout the surgery and recited the Hanuman Chalisa, a traditional Hindu hymn addressed to Lord Hanuman, which has 40 verses
It’s one of the first few successful reported cases of the unique procedure, called an awake craniotomy or ‘awake brain surgery’ in the state of Rajasthan.
The computer accountant had been suffering from repeated seizures over the course of three months.
Biopsy results confirmed he had a brain tumour, diagnosed as grade two, which grows more slowly.
Neurosurgeons at Narayana Multispeciality Hospital in Jaipur, over 212miles (342km) away, were willing to help Mr Jangir with a certain type of surgery unavailable at the hospitals he had already visited.
They were able to offer an awake craniotomy or ‘awake brain surgery’, which would save his speech.
He was awake throughout the surgery and recited the Hanuman Chalisa, a traditional Hindu hymn addressed to Lord Hanuman, which has 40 verses and is recited to seek courage and blessings.
It’s one of the first few successful reported cases of the unique procedure in the state of Rajasthan.
Awake brain surgeries are used by select neurosurgeons across the globe to remove tumours that are located close to areas that control vision, speech and body movements.
In Mr Hulasmal’s case, the tumour was in that area of the brain which controls speech, and even a slight error while performing the surgery could have led to speech impairment for life.
The three hour surgery involved the use of a high-end operating microscope which can magnify the brain area, and special dyes which were injected to mark the tumour.
‘Monitoring response in conventional brain surgery is not possible, as the patient is sedated,’ said Dr KK Bansal, senior consultant, whose first name is unknown.
‘In awake brain surgery, the patient’s response can be continuously monitored, which helps the surgeon ascertain the exact spot without damaging other areas of the brain.
‘In the patient’s case, he was continuously asked to read, sing or recite the Hanuman Chalisa.
‘His responses helped us perform the surgery safely and successfully as whenever we would touch a wrong spot, his speech would get illegible.’
Such surgeries can be performed at very few centres across India because of a lack of specialists.
‘We are happy that we could discharge the patient within 72 hours and he can now lead a normal life,’ said Karthik Ramakrishnan, facility director at the hospital.
CAN YOU HAVE BRAIN SURGERY WHILE AWAKE?
Awake brain surgery, also known as awake craniotomy, is a type of operation that requires a person to be alert while under the knife.
An awake craniotomy may be carried out to treat a tumour in an area of the brain that controls vision, movement or speech.
It ensures the surgeon treats the correct area of the brain while lowering the risk of damage to the region that controls language, speech and motor skills.
It can be difficult to pinpoint these areas before surgery, while an awake operation allows a surgeon to know which areas of the brain controls these functions so they can be avoided.
The procedure starts by a patient taking medication that makes them sleepy, before numbing drugs are applied to the scalp.
The doctor will then remove part of the skull to reach the brain.
During the surgery, sedative medications are stopped to allow the patient to wake up.
The patient may then be asked questions, told to move, count or identify pictures off a card.
This helps the surgeon identify and avoid ‘functional’ areas of the brain.
Some of the risks include:
- Vision, speech or learning problems
- Memory loss
- Poor balance or co-ordination
- Leaking spinal fluid
- Weak muscles
Source: Mayo Clinic