Dr. Kim Dong of Houston's Memorial Hermann hospital performed a brain tumor resection surgery on a young adult patient Wednesday morning. The operation was a routine one for him, but this time it came with a catch: His every move was live tweeted by hospital staff, with graphic photos and video posted to Twitter and other platforms along the way.
“What will come out of this is a detailed, real-time sequence of what happens in a brain surgery through all the stages from preparation, to shaving the hair, to making the incision, to draping,” Dr. Kim told Mashable on Monday. “People are very anxious and want to know what goes on in a brain surgery like this.”
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Here's how the operation happened: Dr. Kim and his team opened an approximately two-inch by two-inch "window" in a 21-year-old woman's skull. The window gave Dr. Kim access to the woman's brain, which was exposed for more than an hour. Guided by a fiber optic camera, he then located the woman's tumor beneath the surface of her brain and cut it out.
While Dr. Kim worked in the operating room, a team outside the room documented everything on social media. The posted videos to YouTube and photos to Pinterest, with a feed from Dr. Kim's fiber optic camera providing an unprecedented view from inside the patient's skull. A brain tumor specialist answered questions from the Twitter audience during the operation, and Storify presentations recapped all the action.
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This was not Memorial Hermann's first major operation to be documented in a major way on social media. In February, the hospital performed the world's first-ever live-tweeted open heart surgery. That operation delivered more than 125 million views through Twitter, Storify and media coverage, according to Natalie Camarata, the hospital system's digital marketing manager.
"The idea is always just to pull back a curtain and show in detail how something that happens every day in our hospitals actually works," Camarata told Mashable earlier this week.
Check out the Storify below to see how Memorial Hermann used social media to document and recap Dr. Kim's brain surgery. Be warned, though -- some of the photos and video are graphic.
Do you think this was a cool use of social media for public education? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.