The diagnosis of kidney cancer is passed on to over 50,000 Americans each year. Swedish Hospital
in Seattle, WA has been part of one of the latest advancements in the progress toward treating this disease. The hospital's Robotic-Assisted Surgery program, directed by urologic surgeon James Porter M.D., is home to the da Vinci
- a state-of-the-art bit of technology that helps doctors perform a more precise operation than with standard surgery. The da Vinci allows the surgeon to perform a rear-approach partial nephrectomy - this makes the precise removal of the disease portion of the kidney possible. The advantage to this type of surgery is the ability for patients to recover at a quicker rate and to retain a majority of their kidney functionality.
The month of March is National Kidney Month and to honor this month's theme, Swedish Hospital gathered a group of "tweeters" from the hospital and had them observe Dr. Porter performing this critical operation using the da Vinci technology. The "tweeters" live tweeted
the entire operation from beginning to end. The premise behind the event was to be able to give more people an inside look at the advances that have been made in modern surgery. The surgery occurred on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 7:40 am and was a complete success.
The patient who received this surgery is a 69 year old male originally from California. His renal mass was found as part of a follow up for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The referral to Dr. Porter and Swedish hospital was made by a urologic surgeon who had previously trained under Dr. Porter. The live tweeting event was conducted under the full consent of the patient.
To review the entire procedure on the Twitter news feed, the following Twitter accounts were listed as part of the event:
Additionally, the thread may be found by going to http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23swedish