Forget Netflix for two hours, or at least that’s what some people did yesterday in order to find out what happened on the ‘Brain Surgery Live’, where the delicate procedure was conducted under the eyes of the audience.
On October 25th, at 9 P.M. ET / 6 P.M. PT, the National Geographic Channel broadcasted a first-of-its-kind type of television program. The patient, 49 year-old Greg Grindley, underwent brain surgery, specifically deep brain stimulation (DBS) under the care of doctors and the lenses of cameras.
Doctors at the UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland have provided the audience with an insightful look into a beneficial procedure. The purpose was to draw awareness toward this low-risk but delicate intervention that might alleviate certain problems. And, furthermore, their aim was to raise awareness, educate, and inform prospective patients about its benefits.
Greg Grindley served for 20 years in the Navy before he retired, in 2004. Six months after, he started developing symptoms of early onset of Parkinson’s disease. It manifested through tremors in his hands, which later led him to stop working as an electrician. For years, Grindley was reluctant of undergoing surgery.
However, latest developments and encouragement from family resulted in his agreement to undergo DBS. And, in addition, he approved the decision of doing it live.
The ‘Brain Surgery Live’ saw to the works of Dr. Jonathan Miller leading the team of surgeons through a 2 hour-long special. The patient remained fully awake, as it’s common for the procedure. DBS was approved for treating symptoms of Parkinson’s in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Particularly, to treat tremors in the hands, as it was in the case for Grindley.
Essentially, an opening is made in the skull to offer the surgical team access to the brain. The patient remains awake so that he (in this case) could answer certain questions while different areas were stimulated with an electrode. The neurosurgeons and neurologists ran the patient through a series of tests in order to know when they have targeted the affected area of the brain. Once found, it could be fixed.
After the surgery, Dr. Miller stated that he “couldn’t be happier” with the results. Grindley will instantly start to feel the benefits of the surgery, and the tremors in his hands will be gone. Furthermore, the lead surgeon claimed that while the effect is instantaneous, it will be even greater to see in 10 years. This will drastically improve upon Grindley’s life with Parkinson’s.
The live broadcast aimed to show the significant benefits of DBS. Their hopes were that, by the end, viewers will be left with an additional education and fascination on the brain, which is still one of our world’s greatest mysteries.
Image source: siumed.edu