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Brain surgery to be broadcast live to a UK audience for first time at Dana Centre


For the first time, the public will have the extraordinary opportunity to observe live brain surgery in a pioneering event at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in London, on Thursday 28 October.

Broadcast for the first time to a UK audience, visitors to the Dana Centre will not only watch live surgery, but be able to direct questions to the surgical team in the USA whilst the operation takes place. Live from Brainworks will be broadcast across the Atlantic Ocean from Overlook Hospital, New Jersey where a team of surgeons will be removing a Meningioma (or benign tumour) from a patient.
Live from Brainworks is the second live operation broadcast at the Dana Centre - the UK’s newest venue designed to tackle contemporary and controversial science head on - which pioneered the live broadcast of cardiac bypass surgery earlier this year. The broadcast is in association with the award-winning educational programme developed by Liberty Science Center, New Jersey. The audience at the Dana Centre will watch surgery, whilst a facilitator will be on hand to explain procedures and answer questions.

Projector screens and state-of-the-art telecommunications systems will link the medical professionals in the states with audience members at the Dana Centre throughout the surgery. From how tumours form to whether the brain feels pain, audiences can quiz the medical team as they perform complex neurological surgery. Additionally, medical instruments, machines, and materials used in the approximately two-hour surgery will be available for examination at the Dana Centre.

Dr. Richard Hodosh, who has over 20 years experience as a Neurosurgeon and is Medical Director for the Neuroscience Institute at Overlook Hospital, will be leading the surgery which will take about two hours.

In the event of a complication with the operation, the surgeon is able cut off visuals and sound. “Live from Brainworks offers viewers the unique opportunity to witness actual neurological surgery, as well as ask questions to uncover some of the mysteries of our brains. The surgery will showcase fantastic medical skills and advanced technology including the video feed from the endoscopes,” commented Lisa Jamieson, Programme Developer, Dana Centre.

Why encourage ordinary people to watch surgery? Indeed, why would anyone want to watch? Nancy Butnick, Leader, Program Development Liberty Science Center, will be on-site at the Dana Centre to act as a facilitator.

Butnick explained: “Despite the fact that many people initially express disgust or even fear at the idea of watching surgery, there is in all of us a deep curiosity about our own bodies and how to keep them healthy, and I have found that within moments, audience members are completely absorbed in watching and understanding what is transpiring during the procedure. In fact, out of the over 4,000 people who have watched live surgery here at Liberty Science Center, only two have found it necessary to leave the room!”

Lauren Gildersleve | alfa
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