“It all went very well,” neurosurgeon Roberto Trignani told the Italian news agency Ansa after the two-and-a-half-hour procedure in a hospital in Ancona on Tuesday.
The tumour was removed from her left temporal lobe, the area of the brain which controls language, as well as movements of the right side of the body.
Trignani has performed some 60 operations over the last five years with patients conscious and engaged in other activities – which depend on their usual habits, as well as the part of the brain being operated on – including playing the violin or trumpet.
He said it was “a method that enables us to monitor the patient while we are intervening on brain functions and to calibrate our action”.
quando pensate di essere bravi in cucina, sappiate che questa signora di 60 anni ha preparato 90 olive all'ascolana in circa un'ora di intervento di rimozione di un tumore al lobo temporale sinistro del cervello pic.twitter.com/LCtPktf7NG
— awkward blob (@autoportante_) June 9, 2020
The woman quickly became a culinary hero in Italy, with many social media users expressing their admiration for her kitchen skills.
The olives, a speciality of the Marche region of central Italy, are notoriously fiddly to prepare: they're made by wrapping pitted green olives around balls of seasoned meat, which are then coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs before being fried.