Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Live Tweets Brain SurgeryBy: Zach Walton - May 9, 2012
I’m not going to lie – I’m scared of hospitals. Watching specials on TLC that show live surgeries always grossed me out. I’m fine around slasher flicks and all kinds of gory entertainment, but I’ll pass out if I see a real surgery with real blood. That’s why this story kind of makes me queasy.
In what may be a first for a hospital, the Houston branch of Memorial Hermann hospital is live tweeting a brain surgery. The doctor in charge of the operation is Dr. Dong Kim while Dr. Scott Shepard Tweets out all the details with pictures of the surgery.
This is all pretty cool and I’m sure it’s really educational, but it’s just kind of gross. I’m sure those in medical professions or studying medicine are absolutely loving this, but I’m having a hard time just looking at the pictures.
Still, this just goes to show you that Twitter has become massively influential in how we communicate. I’m sure that Facebook would have something to say about a doctor updating a surgery live with pictures, but Twitter seems to be ok with it. It’s all in the name of education at least.
The surgery will last for four hours and the doctors will be Tweeting for the entirety of it. Here’s some of the hightlights of the surgery so far. Depending on where you work, some of the images linked in the Tweets may be NSFW.
@scottk75 The patient will not be awake for the surgery. -Dr. Shepard
@hsawh5thgrade After brain surgery there is minor pain, much less pain than most other surgeries
@hsawh5thgrade Each year Dr. Kim performs 400 surgeries including 300 craniotomies for tumors, aneurysms, etc.
@ethankobe This particular tumor in this location can almost always be entirely removed.
@goldbergsays The room is kept cool because the surgeons & the patient are covered in heavy cloth and can easily become overheated. – Dr. S
@UTHealth neurosurgery residency accepts 2 residents per year.To become a neurosurgeon a doctor trains 7 years after medical school, the
Some of the following content may be GRAPHIC in nature. Viewer discretion is advised.
@dwalshcaitlin Yes, the patient and family has consented & is fully aware that their surgery is being featured on Twitter.
Dr. Kim is starting dissection for the tumor using 2 different instruments
And that’s the last we’ve heard from the surgery. It seems like the surgery is about over. If you want to get caught up and see all the lovely pictures of somebody’s brain, check out the recap page. Once again, some of these pictures may be considered graphic and NSFW based on where you are.
Do you think doctors should use social media to broadcast surgeries and other procedures? Does it open up new venues for medical education? Let us know in the comments.[Thanks Reddit]