Live-Tweeted Surgery a Hit

Hospital gets tens of thousands of watchers


Thousands of people from 60 countries watched a baby boy enter the world in Houston on Wednesday, tuning into a live Twitter feed broadcast by a Houston hospital that warned viewers the video images of doctors cutting into the abdomen and uterus could be graphic.

The Internet and social media have been a part of the medical industry for years, but hospitals and doctors are increasingly using Facebook and Twitter to gain exposure in an increasingly competitive market. And what better way to do that then provide people with an authentic online version of the kinds of surgeries they watch on fictional TV shows such as "Grey's Anatomy," "House" and "ER?"

"It's fascinating to pull back the curtain on the mystery of the OR," said Natalie Camarata, the social media manager at Houston's Hermann Memorial Hospital who helped broadcast Wednesday's cesarean section as well as two other procedures, including a brain surgery done by Dr. Dong Kim, who gained notoriety when he treated former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in the head in 2011.