Woman’s Brain Surgery Was Livestreamed on Facebook (VIDEO)

Society | November 1, 2019, Friday // 14:04|  views


The brain surgery of a young patient, performed by neurosurgeons from Texas, USA, was partially transmitted directly to Facebook, according to France Press.

For the purposes of the intervention, 25-year-old Jenna Schardt was left awake so she could talk to the surgeons and direct them.

"If we go into the wrong spot, that could cost her the ability to speak, so that's why we have to map out the speech areas first before we go on. We have to physically map them out on the brain while she's awake and talking to us," Dr. Bartley Mitchell, Schardt's neurosurgeon, explained.

The operation lasted four and a half hours. It was performed by a team at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. The live Facebook broadcast took about 40 minutes. As of Wednesday, the video was watched by nearly 100,000 people.

Jenna Schardt suffers from epileptic seizures as a result of inflammation of blood vessels in the left temporal lobe. That's why her speech is affected, the head of the neurosurgery department, Nimesh Patel explains.

Medications are ineffective, which is why specialists decided to make an intervention in order it to remove the infected mass. Usually such operations are performed under general anesthesia. In this case, however, the lesion was in a very delicate area and surgeons decided, to perform the operation while Schard is awake. 

“Jenna’s lesion is around some very critical areas in her brain,” Dr. Randall Graham told ABC News. “What’s nice is, nowadays, we can have people awake during surgery to test on the surface of the brain to make sure we don’t do anything to affect her speech or motor skills.”

"Brain surgery performed awake, although it is in our repertoire, is not routine," Patel said. "It all depends on where the lesion is located and if the patient wants to be awake or asleep."

“Basically we have a GPS tracking system for the brain already, and we need to find out where are the places that we want to avoid and where are the places that are safe to go,” Dr. Nimesh Patel, who helped to narrate the procedure, explained in the video. “Any small movements, a millimeter to the left, a millimeter to the right, can affect her speech.”

During the intervention, the patient was told to spell a list of words such as "bird," "dog," "butterfly," and numbers while surgeons stimulate different areas of the brain. "If she is not able to say a simple word, it means that the area is not safe.”, Patel added.

Jenna Schardt, is an occupational therapy student, requested that the operation be broadcasted directly in order to educate viewers.

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Tags: brain surgery, brain, anesthesia, neurosurgeons, Facebook, livestream


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