In an essay highlighting the History of Surgery, Dr. Atul Gawande references a journal published in 1812 that “gives a sense of the constraints faced by surgeons ... in the era before anesthesia and antisepsis.” Two hundred years ago, surgeons struggled at the most basic level to keep their patients alive. Since that era, the field has come a long way. While there are still many risks involved in surgery, Twitter’s 140 character limit may be one of the biggest constraints faced by surgeons today.
On Wednesday morning, Dr. Dong Kim and his neurosurgery team at Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, Texas removed a tumor from the brain of a 21-year old woman, while live tweeting the details of each incision from start to finish. Yesterday, these surgeons made history.