Channel 4 to Twitter -- gallbladder surgery?

Who isn't jumping on the Twitter bandwagon? Last week, we told you about the Boulder Police Department's new Twitter feed. Now, Channel 4 is boasting about Dr. Dave Hnida, the station's medical expert, Twittering the gallbladder surgery of a seven-year-old girl. This gimmick, which can be followed live beginning at 11 a.m. tomorrow, April 14, opens up new possibilities for Twittering coverage. Coming soon: Dr. Dave tweets Jim Benemann's colonoscopy!

Of course, that's not the way the station's public-relations department puts it. Click "Continue" to get the details.


TUESDAY, APRIL 14th -- 11 A.M.

Denver - CBS4--KCNC-TV announced today that the station has teamed up with Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL to offer parents, physicians and people across the country a unique educational opportunity and the ability to interact directly with physicians during a live pediatric surgery that will take place Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 11 a.m. via Twitter.

"This is the first time any TV station in the world has worked with a hospital to provide the public with direct interaction during a major surgery," CBS4 News Director Tim Wieland said. "CBS4's Dr. Dave Hnida will be inside the operating room speaking directly to the public via Twitter as Dr. Steven Rothenberg performs gallbladder surgery on a child using a minimally invasive procedure. The child's parents, other physicians and people across the country can follow this surgery and ask questions of the doctor as the surgery is being performed."

Steven Rothenberg, MD, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL will perform the gallbladder surgery on a seven-year-old girl using a minimally invasive procedure through a tiny incision in the belly button. Taking this approach creates a virtually incision free surgery, leaving no scars behind. Dr. Rothenberg is pioneering the procedure in children. He invented many of the new Minimally Invasive Surgical (MIS) techniques for children and has helped develop instruments now used by surgeons worldwide.

The parents of the 7-year-old patient, Sophie Flowers, Teresa and Kregg Flowers, will follow along and ask questions via Twitter from the waiting room.

"We are thankful for the opportunity to share our story," Teresa Flowers said. "My father was a general surgeon and he did gallbladder surgeries all the time. He would never have dreamed that one day gallbladder surgery on a child could be performed through the belly button." Teresa believes by allowing CBS4 to use Twitter technology, they will be able to help other families and educate parents and physicians on the possibilities of minimally invasive surgery.

While the possibilities continue to increase, Dr. Rothenberg says, "Any minimally invasive operation must produce technical results that are at least as good as the results of a standard open procedure -- and must do so safely. In other words, since surgery is fundamentally a mechanical solution to a health problem, the manipulation and final state of the organs should be the same as that seen in a 'standard' procedure."

In addition to his role as Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL, Dr. Rothenberg is a Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, New York, New York. He is a world leader in the field of endoscopic surgery in infants and children and has led the way in pediatric minimally invasive techniques.

To follow this surgery, simply log on to http://twitter.com and sign up to follow CBS4 Denver. For more information, visit www.cbs4denver.com or www.pslmc.com.

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