Hypnotised singer performs during operation

16 June 2014, 15:38

Professional singer Alama Kanté is ready to perform again after a risky operation to remove a tumour from her throat.

In a world first, surgeons at the Henri-Mondor hospital at Créteil near Paris removed a tumour while their patient was awake. Gilles Dhonneur, head of anaesthesia and intensive care departments, performed the operation while 31-year-old singer Alama Kanté listened to a hypnotist to numb the pain of the procedure.

"I'm a professional singer and they told me I might lose my voice," Kanté said. "They suggested hypnosis to me, but I didn't know what that entailed - it was the first I'd heard of it."

If surgeons had touched a nerve accidentally, Kanté's voice would have been irreversibly altered. By asking her to sing, the surgeon could tell instantly if he was on the right lines - if she stopped singing, he had gone too far.

Once in the operating room, the patient underwent a local anaesthetic to relax the vocal chords. The hypnotist then asked her to travel to Senegal in her mind - she believed she was on holiday throughout the duration of the operation.

The procedure took place on 3 April, but the full extent of the operation was revealed this weekend at a hypnosis conference. Kanté was invited to sing material from her new album, Generation Sabbar, which she originally performed on the operating table.


Une chanteuse opérée sous hypnose by leparisien

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Cat composer Alexander Livitsanos

This utterly adorable kitten is the ultimate distraction from work

chocolate bar musical taste

Can we guess your favourite chocolate bar from your favourite composer?

broken e-string violin

This clip captures the sheer horror of an E-string snapping halfway through a live radio broadcast