Precise brain surgery
In Urumqi, Xinjiang, a guy named Xu is a 37-year-old farmer. In 2014, he had two seizures. His left face, left side of his neck and his left shoulder went into severe spasms one day in May, 2014. The same occurred on October 28, 2014.
On October 29, 2014, a CT scan of his brain showed that he had a brain tumor. The doctor recommended immediate craniotomy and brain surgery to remove the tumor.
The surgeon attached electrodes to the patient’s left fingers, left leg and left side of his face, and then the surgeon held onto a probe at the other end.
The patient was anesthetized for the duration of the craniotomy. An ultrasound super B scan was done to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor and detemine its size. When the skull was opened, the surgeon woke the patient up.
Then the surgeon held the probe in one hand and asked the now awakened patient how he felt. The patient, with a breathing mouthpiece in his mouth, responded by moving and pointing his thumb up.
The surgeon then probed parts of the brain and asked the patient to raise his thumb and move his feet. If he did so immediately, that indicated to the surgeon that that part of the brain tissue was operable. If he had difficulty responding, that indicated to the surgeon that that part of the brain tissue was functional and should not be touched.
According to the surgeon, the probe ensured protection from surgical damage to the functional areas of the brain tissue.
The operation lasted for 3 hours and 15 minutes. The patient was able to recover immediately without any damage to his motor functions, speech and vision.
The surgeon said this kind of surgery is called the “technique of waking up the patient in surgery”.
The headline of this report said: “Doctor wakes patient up during surgery and chats with patient.”
The doctor did wake the patient up during surgery but he did not “chat” with the patient. He communicated with the patient since the patient had a breathing mouthpiece in the mouth and would have difficulty “chatting” with the doctor.