Live Streaming Of Breast Cancer SurgeryC. Dixon
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like in the operating room during breast cancer surgery, you can now satisfy your curiosity. A lumpectomy was live-streamed on Facebook during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with staff providing explanations and tips throughout the procedure.
It’s all thanks to a breast cancer patient who wanted to spread awareness about the disease.
Sonia Johnson, 50, has a history of breast cancer in her family, so she’s always been vigilant about her yearly check-ups. In January, she noticed an abnormality in her left breast.
She was soon diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a typically aggressive form of the disease.
Johnson wanted to use her experience to help others, to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of screenings. So she and her surgeon, Dr. Allison DiPasquale, decided to record the procedure at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
On the morning of October 25, 2018, her lumpectomy was streamed live on Facebook.
During the procedure, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and the director of Susan G. Komen answered questions posted in the comment section of the video, and offered tips to viewers. They also described what was happening in the surgical room.
Dr. DiPasquale did a “scar-less” lumpectomy. To do this, she made an incision in Sonia’s armpit, and removed the tumor and lymph nodes through only that point, leaving no mark on the breast itself.
Prior to surgery, Johnson had completed chemotherapy in order to shrink the tumor.
During the highlight video, they talk briefly about the updated technology Dr. DiPasquale and her team are using. At one point, you can hear a whirring sound. That’s from a specialized tool that’s used to help identify exactly where in the breast the tumor is located. After the tumor is removed, part of it is put into another specialized device to help determine specifics about the cancer that will help further treatment.
The surgery was a success, and there were no complications.
At the time of this posting, the live video has been viewed over 55,000 times.
Johnson is recovering well, and she has definitely succeeded in raising awareness; news outlets everywhere have picked up the event, including national shows.
Watch this condensed, 5-minute video of the surgery to catch the highlights of the surgery. Then check out the whole video that was recorded below that.
Watch the full-length video here.