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Roger Frisch of the Minnesota Orchestra deserves a standing ovation for his amazing performance. He was able to play the violin and stayed alert . . . while having an electrode inserted deep in his thalamus. We all know that brain surgery is challenging . . . but being awake throughout the process?
The tremors Frisch was experiencing were so minuscule it would have been ignored in any other line of work. But as a concert violinist, the shakes prevented him from doing his job. So he decided to get an early electrode insertion.
The electrodes must be placed with extreme precision for deep brain stimulation, which is the major challenge in implanting them. Due to the tremors being so slight, identifying the source was even more difficult in Frisch’s case. To put into perspective, the electrodes sometimes got fractionally misplaced, even for those conditions where the operation is typical.
In order for them to fully identify if they had reached the part of the brain causing the tremors, it was decided by the surgeons at the Mayo Clinic, where the electrodes were implanted, that Frisch had to perform and stay awake during the operation. A violin was especially designed by Engr. Keven Bennet so Frisch could play during the operation, which included an accelerometer that allowed the medical team to detect whether the slightest tremors were occurring.
On the video below, you will see that the operation was a major success.
According to his doctors, as long as he sets the pacemaker controlling device, Frisch will be able to continue his career.
Try the article below for another breathtaking surgery story: