Houston Hospital Does World’s First Live-Tweeted Heart Surgery

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Memorial Hermann Hospital/Twitter The scene as shown Tuesday morning on the Twitter feed by Memorial Hermann

No matter how many medical shows you watch, this is the real stuff. – CultureMap Houston


On Tuesday, doctors at Memorial Hermann Northwest in Houston tweeted heart surgery, with more than one hundred tweets, photos, and videos. The event was also covered by the New York Daily News and ABC News online.

The double-coronary artery bypass of an unnamed 57-year-old patient was performed by the hospital’s medical director of cardiovascular surgery, Dr. Michael Macris, with another surgeon, Dr. Paresh Patel, handling the tweets, as well as live questions from followers and a Cover It Live module. A “live helmet camera” was also used.

Tweeting from the sidelines, Dr. Paresh Patel answered a barrage of questions from online observers who ranged from the medically curious to hospital professionals.

Here’s a glimpse of the proceedings. Our more squeamish readers might want to avoid clicking the links.

  • 9:15 – Dr. Macris gowning up [video]
  • 9:41 – Opening the sternum with saw [video]
  • 10:23 – Identifying targets, will place the LIMA’s distal end to coronary [twitpic]
  • 10:40 – Placing mammary artery distal to the heart [video]

The tweets, photos and video are all compiled in a Storify story created by the hospital. It’s embedded here below and very graphic — though you’ll be glad to know the patient made it through surgery.