Gavin Brooke, a British teenager, listened to his iPod throughout a six-hour operation to have his brain tumor removed.
The surgeons had to keep Brooke, 18, awake so they knew they were not damaging his brain.
Head neurosurgeon Andrew McEvoy hooked up Brooke's iPod to the operating theatre's sound system.
"It was important to keep him awake while I worked in a delicate area. The music kept him relaxed," The Sun quoted McEvoy as saying.
"The tumor was in a very difficult place that controls movement in his body and we had to ensure we didn't damage the surrounding area.
"A few millimetres too far could have paralysed him, so I let him listen to his iPod," he added.
The surgeons also kept talking to the Brooke throughout the surgery in order to ensure that he was not in pain.
"The music made the operation much easier to cope with and Mr McEvoy talked to me all the way through," said Brooke.