Brain surgery is awfully tricky, requiring a great, great deal of precision. When a doctor has to remove something from inside your skull, you want to make sure that only the bad stuff is cut out. But how can you tell if you’re going too far into the surrounding grey matter?
I remember reading a quote in a story on brain surgery that came from one doctor when he asked for some suction to clear his field of vision. With each cell that was sucked away, something went permanently missing. When the blood and matter was gone, he remarked “There go the violin lessons.”
One way to keep from screwing up is to keep the patient awake and aware throughout the operation. That way if you’re poking into some vital circuitry, you immediately know if you’re into dangerous territory. This is what surgeons did with concert violinist Roger Frisch. Watch.
More at Endgadget. Thanks to John for the link.