Chennai, Sep 4: Dr A K Venkatachalam, an orthopaedic surgeon from Chennai created history by tweeting a total knee replacement operation that he performed at Chettinad Health City Hospital, India on Jun 18, 2009.
According to him, this was the second time in the world that an orthopedic operation was Twitter cast, the first one also being a live replacement from the US.
When asked why he chose to Tweet his surgery, Dr Venkatachalam who is an Assistant professor at the Chettinad medical college in Tamil nadu, South India, said that it served a dual purpose.
First it gave medical students and prospective patients an opportunity to witness a live surgery. It could facilitate medical students to make a career choice for post graduation, he said.
Secondly acceptability of Joint Replacement would increase as patients would shed their inhibitions and fear. Patients planning for a knee replacement also had the chance to get a peek at a live operation and understand what went on. It would thus alleviate their fears about a joint replacement, he added.
He also said that patients can chat with their surgeon during the course of an operation and ask questions about the implant, technique, pain relief protocols, any thing that would remove their anxiety.
It is hoped that in comparison to a live video surgery, a photographic account of an operation will be better tolerated.