Hospital to Tweet Brain Surgery Live and Post Pictures on Pinterest


Having already made history with the worlds first live tweeted open heart surgery, surgeons at Houston’s Memorial Hermann Hospital are about to bring social media back into the operation theater.

Live Theater

This time round we will be able to watch an operation on the brain called a  brain tumor resection, which will remove a tumor and prevent seizures. The operation will be conducted by one of the world’s foremost neurosurgeons, Dr Dong Kim, the same surgeon that treated former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in the head in 2011.

Live social media coverage from the hospital’s in-house team will begin Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. EST. The hospital’s Twitter page, @houstonhospital, will relay the operation’s preparation, play-by-play and wrap up over the next four hours while using the hashtag #MHbrain. The first actual incision is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST.

“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 says. “People are very anxious and want to know what goes on in a brain surgery like this.”

Social Media

Whilst Dr. Kim is performing the intricate operation, a team outside the theater will be working the social platforms, and a brain tumor specialist will be on hand to take questions from the digital community via Twitter, whilst other social platforms will also be involved. Video clips from inside the operating room will be posted to YouTube, and photos shared on Pinterest. Storify compilations will recap each hour of the broadcast.

“We had a lot of success with the open-heart surgery and saw there was a lot of interest in seeing what goes into something that’s an everyday thing for some people,” Says Natalie Camarata, Memorial Hermann’s digital marketing manager.

Memorial Hermann’s open-heart surgery live tweet was a world first, although other hospitals have used to Twitter to cover different operations before, including a few brain surgeries. But Camarata and Dr. Kim say Memorial Hermann‘s social broadcast will break new ground in brain surgery live tweets by sharing the feed from Dr. Kim’s fiber optic microscope to give viewers a new level of access and understanding.

“One neat thing about this is we should be able to get actual images of the brain surface itself,” Dr. Kim says. “Hopefully you’ll see video of the brain actually pulsating with heartbeats.”


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