A brain surgery patient chatted with his doctor about movement on the stock market as surgeons were delicately slicing into his brain during a three-hour operation to remove a brain tumour.

The 46-year-old patient in Shenzhen was filmed discussing his portfolio and reciting Tang Dynasty poetry while the tricky procedure was being carried out. The operation was broadcast on Shenzhen TV.

The patient reciting a Tang Dynasty poem during the surgery. Photo: Shenzhen TV.

The man, surnamed Wang, was later filmed following the successful surgery, with bandages around his head. “I was a little scared, a little bit,” he said.

Photo: Shenzhen TV.

Because the tumour was close to the ‘Broca’s area’ of Wang’s brain – a part of the organ linked to speech production – the doctor wanted him to stay awake and keep talking to ensure the surgical team did not damage the area, the doctor explained.

“The patient did not feel uncomfortable during the surgery, did not feel any pain… he could talk with us, trade stocks,” the doctor said.

The patient talking with his doctor after the surgery.

“At the time my stocks went up,” Wang said.

Shenzhen TV reported that the surgery, on June 24, had been a success and that Wang was due to be discharged from hospital soon.

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Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.