Hospital livestreams 25-yr-old’s brain surgery on FB

WASHINGTON: A young woman in Texas who remained awake for her brain surgery was able to speak to doctors during the procedure — and viewers from around the world looked on, as part of the operation was livestreamed on Facebook. By Wednesday, nearly 100,000 people had watched doctors remove a mass from Jenna Schardt’s brain during a 40-minute video of the operation that was livestreamed on Tuesday.
In the video, the 25-year-old patient can be seen speaking with physicians on one side of a blue operating curtain while doctors in surgical masks work on her brain on the other side.
Schardt had a stroke due to a mass of blood vessels in her left temporal lobe that was affecting her ability to talk, Methodist Dallas Medical Center head of neurology Nimesh Patel said.
She remained awake as her skull was opened so that doctors could be sure they weren’t damaging the parts of her brain that control speech as they worked — they asked her to say words such as bird, dog or number in order to make a “map” of her brain, Patel said.
“In order for us to identify how to approach and remove the mass, we must determine areas that are safe,” Patel said. They even asked Schardt about her dog to test her memory during the four-and-a-half hour surgery.
“Brain surgery performed awake, although it is in our repertoire, is not routine,” he said. “It all depends on where the lesion is located and if the patient wants to be awake or asleep.” Schardt, from Illinois, is studying occupational therapy. — AFP