What does it take to be a neurosurgeon? Q&A with NNI medical director Ng Wai Hoe

Professor Ng Wai Hoe, medical director of the National Neuroscience Institute, reading Mr Oh Zhi Long's scan before he starts the awake craniotomy operation.
Professor Ng Wai Hoe, medical director of the National Neuroscience Institute, reading Mr Oh Zhi Long's scan before he starts the awake craniotomy operation.ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN
Neurosurgeon Ng Wai Hoe, medical director of the National Neuroscience Institute, shaving Mr Oh’s head after asking him how close a shave he wants. Mr Oh replies: “Take it all off, it’s only hair, it will grow back. I have no regrets.”
Neurosurgeon Ng Wai Hoe, medical director of the National Neuroscience Institute, shaving Mr Oh’s head after asking him how close a shave he wants. Mr Oh replies: “Take it all off, it’s only hair, it will grow back. I have no regrets.”ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN
Mr Oh Zhi Long, 32, had to undergo surgery while he was awake.
Mr Oh Zhi Long, 32, had to undergo surgery while he was awake.ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN
Professor Ng Wai Hoe, medical director of the National Neuroscience Institute, headed the surgery on Mr Oh Zhi Long.
Professor Ng Wai Hoe, medical director of the National Neuroscience Institute, headed the surgery on Mr Oh Zhi Long.ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN

Q: Why do you shave the head just before the surgery?

A: We shave the head in the operating theatre because if you shave too early you may nick the skin, and risk an infection.

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