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Jazz musician plays saxophone while undergoing brain surgery

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Dec. 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM

MALAGA, Spain, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A Spanish jazz musician was kept awake and playing his saxophone during brain surgery to ensure his neurological functions remained undamaged.

Carlos Aguilera, 27, was sedated and given painkillers during the surgery to remove a brain tumor at Malaga's Carlos Haya hospital, but he was kept awake and playing his sax during the Oct. 15 procedure to ensure surgeons did not damage his ability to play.

Aguilera and the doctors who performed the procedure appeared at a news conference Wednesday to announce the surgery had been successful.

"Two months ago I was on the operating table and now I have my life ahead of me, I have been brought back to life," The Local quoted Aguilera as saying during the conference.

The musician was grateful to the surgical team for ensuring his ability to play was unaffected.

"Without music I am nothing," Aguilera said.

Dr. Guillermo Ibanez, the neurosurgeon who led surgery, said the technique was the best way to ensure Aguilera's career as a musician was not endangered.

Anthony Kulkamp Dias, 33, who underwent brain surgery at Hospital Nossa Senhora da Conceicao in Tubarao, Brazil, earlier this year, was kept awake during the procedure and sang while playing his guitar.

Slovenian opera singer Ambroz Bajec-Lapajne serenaded his surgery team with Schubert's "Gute Nacht" while undergoing a similar procedure at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.

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