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Pulling back the curtain on brain surgery with live Twittercast

HOUSTON, TX (May09, 2012)

Dr. Dong Kim and his surgical team help to educate the public on brain tumors with an inside look into the operating room

Seeking to educate the public about brain tumors and what happens during brain surgery, renowned surgeon Dong Kim, M.D., chief of neurosurgery and director of the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center, will perform a brain tumor resection during a live Twittercast.

The surgery, scheduled for Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 a.m., will be performed on a 21-year-old woman. The social media event will feature a rapid play-by-play of video, pictures and tweets, including live video feed from a microscope that will provide a surgeon's view as Kim and his team expertly remove a cavernous angioma tumor from the right side of the young woman's brain.

"Social media is a very powerful communications vehicle in helping to demystify the process of brain surgery," said Dr. Kim, who performed brain surgery on former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. "So our goal of performing this surgery live via Twitter is to educate the general public about brain tumors and take them into the OR to see what happens during a brain surgery. Someone may have a loved one who is considering a similar procedure and perhaps they can glean some information from this Twittercast that may help them make a decision about whether surgery is the right choice for them."

Each year, approximately 190,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with brain tumors. While relatively rare, both malignant and benign brain tumors can be life-threatening for people of all ages. For many patients, surgical removal, or resection of the tumor is the first choice for treatment. Dr. Kim performs more than 400 surgical procedures a year for brain tumors, cerebral aneurysms, trigeminal neuralgia and Chiari Malformations.

Dr. Kim, who also is the chair of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) Medical School, and his surgical team will use Neuronavigation, a set of computer-assisted technologies, to identify the entry point and the precise location of the tumor in the patient's brain. A craniotomy will be performed to remove a portion of the skull bone. A microscope will then be used to take out the tumor deep in the patient's right brain. Finally, the team will replace the skull bone and complete the surgery.

Serving as an online moderator during the live Twittercast will be Scott Shepard, M.D., neurosurgeon with Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann and assistant professor of neurosurgery with UTHealth. Dr. Shepard will be on-site to respond to questions and comments in real time during the event.

Continuing to establish itself as one of the most technologically forward healthcare systems in the country, the Twittercast will mark the third in a series of live online events sponsored by Memorial Hermann to provide the general public, healthcare consumers and medical professionals with an opportunity to participate and learn about the most innovative surgical procedures available. Follow the Twittercast @memorialhermann and #MHbrain. For more information, visit