Man undergoes brain surgery while awake during procedure

Man undergoes brain surgery while awake during procedure

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Imagine going under the knife, while being aware of what is going on. 

That is exactly what one man did while undergoing surgery on his brain. 

Suffering from constant seizures, doctors were able to specifically locate and remove the part of Marco Hicks' brain causing them.

"When they tested if my brain was ready for this, I was awake, they made me talk when they put other chemicals in my brain to see what side of it was, yeah that was weird," Hicks said.

Talking to Hicks during the surgery was Michael Barrett, a speech pathologist with Covenant Medical Group. 

Barrett said he is still amazed by the procedure. 

"I would say it's funny because every time I do the post surgery interview, the patients never remember that we even had the conversation. That was kind of a surprise to me because they're conscious, interacting, following commands and things like that, so it's interesting how the brain works," Barrett said.

The accuracy of the surgery was made possible by new brain mapping technology.

"We can do it with a margin of safety that we've never known before," Harold Smith, the neurosurgeon with Covenant who conducted the procedure, said.

Smith has been a neurosurgeon for about 25 years. 

He said he never thought technology would allow him to do a procedure like this.

"New navigational technology allows us to have a map kind of like a GPS unit for your head that always allows us to know where we are working with great precision at any given time. The margin of safety is tremendous," Smith said.

While initially fearful, Hicks said this surgery will change his life. 

"It was just something crazy. I have the best doctors in the world, and overall, it was the best thing that ever happened and I'm thankful," Hicks said.

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