Tweeting Surgery

I love Twitter, I think that's clear. But this use has got me feeling a little... Squirmy. Surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI Tweeted the removal of a cancerous tumor from a man's kidney. Says Dr. Craig Rogers, the lead surgeon:

The impetus for his Twittering was to let people know that a tumor can be removed without taking the entire kidney. "We're trying to use this as a way to get the word out," Rogers said.

Here are some of the updates from the hospital's stream:

We are placing bulldog clamps on the renal blood vessels right now

the tumor is being cut out using scissors so as to obtain a precise cancer free margin

the tumor has been completely excised, 20 minutes left to repair the kidney

suturing with the robot is much more facile than with laparoscopic instruments due to the range of motion of the intruments

this complex, large partial nephrectomy has been completed with robotic assistance by Dr. Craig Rogers and Henry Ford Hospital

Ok. It is fascinating. And yes, it's important for folks to know options exist in cases like this, and the surgery was successful, so that's good. But. Having just spent nearly 12 hours in a surgical waiting room for a similar situation (with a similarly positive result, thank goodness), I can see both good and bad here. Of course, we're always desperate for updates on our loved-ones' progress, but is there such a thing as too much information in this case? And what if the Tweeting just suddenly... stops? My brain would go wild thinking of explanations for the silence. Do you want your surgeons Tweeting your surgery?

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