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Hospital to Live Tweet Brain Surgery

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- In February, surgeons at Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston live tweeted during heart surgery. And Wednesday, the hospital is moving on up — to the brain.

Starting at 8:30 a.m. ET, Dr. Dong Kim, a neurosurgeon at the hospital, will remove a brain tumor from a 21-year-old patient and broadcast it via Twitter and YouTube.

“What I do tomorrow can be seen anywhere. We’re using a lot of technology, but I think the thing that helps with this is that we are using an operating microscope and there’s a natural recording mechanism that can be tweeted,” Dr. Dong Kim told ABC News.

While there will be a lot of medical technology in the operating room, including the video feed from the microscope, Memorial Hermann has also outfitted the OR for instant social media sharing.

A colleague of Kim’s will tweet live from the OR on a laptop, a video camera will capture overview shots of the surgery, and a still photographer will be taking digital photos. All the material, including pictures, video, and text updates will be broadcast to Twitter, YouTube, TwitPic, CoverItLive, and Pinterest.

But the purpose isn’t just to show off what technology can do these days, it’s to teach students and help patients, Dr. Kim said.

“The main reason I wanted to do this was for the educational possibilities. I spend a lot of my time with patients on what to expect and what the steps are,” Kim said. “A lot of anxious patients want to know exactly what happens. With this they will be able to see what happens.”

The patient being operated on Wednesday has a benign avernous angioma tumor on the right side of her brain; Dr. Kim hopes that the removal will prevent seizures.

You can follow @houstonhospital and #mhbrain on Twitter tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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