Talking (hilariously) through brain surgery
The amazing and amusing George Malich is at it again.
In the little more than one month since his brain tumor diagnosis, Malich, a St. Louis improvisational actor and comedian, has produced a series of short films based on his experiences called “Life is Meant for Living.”
The latest film, “Day 8: Awake Surgery,” is his take on the surgery he had here at Barnes-Jewish Hospital to remove as much of the tumor surgically as possible.
Although Malich’s version of the surgery is … well, let’s just call it an artistic interpretation of actual events…he was, indeed, awake and talking throughout surgery to remove the tumor.
This technique is used by neurosurgeons when specific types of tumors are in sensitive areas of the brain. The patient is asked to answer questions and perform mental tasks to make sure brain tissue isn’t damaged as the tumor is removed.
At Barnes-Jewish, the surgery takes place in an intraoperative MRI suite, where the surgeons also use MRI images taken during the surgery to insure that as much tumor is removed as precisely as possible.
While I loved the latest Malich opus, I’m pretty sure that’s not really the Barnes-Jewish intraoperative MRI suite.
And those surgeons? Below are photos of Dr. Ralph Dacey, Washington University chief of neurosurgery, and Washington University neurosurgeon Dr. Eric Leuthardt, who actually performed the surgery. Are they doing the surgery in the film? Watch it and judge for yourself….