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Surgery live on Twitter

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Surgery is not spared by the Twitter mania. The medical team at the Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston, Texas, offered the possibility of following a surgical operation live via the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Last Wednesday, the @houstonhospital account accessible on the social network Twitter made it possible to follow for four hours the operation of a 21-year-old woman suffering from a benign brain tumour.

Dr. Dong Kim, Director of the Institute of Neurosciences in Houston, and his team were able to share the operation with the public through photos taken by a photographer present for the occasion, videos taken under the operating microscope, and comments relating and explaining each step of the operation.

From the preparation of the operating room to the removal of the tumour, outside and even inside the OR, tumour specialist Dr. Scott Shepard also answered questions from the audience. "Social media are powerful communication tools that we have used to desacralize brain surgery, which is often a source of anxiety for patients," said Dr. Dong Kim, quoted by Le Figaro.fr.

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The same Dr. Dong Kim had already performed open-heart surgery for the first time in January 2011. And the success - 5,000 people had undergone the operation - prompted the neurosurgeon to repeat the procedure last week. But the idea is older: as early as 1990, the first surgical videos appeared on the Internet. Dr. Denton Cooley was a pioneer in sharing a coronary artery operation for the first time in those years.

(Article published in http://www.maxisciences.com/)

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