In an attempt to raise more awareness about heart disease during national heart month, surgeons at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto shared photos, facts and details about heart surgery on Twitter during a recent operation. Their 57-year old male patient, a man identified only as Lou, gave his permission to have photos, videos and other details about his coronary artery bypass graft, also called CABG surgery, made public using the popular social media site. This type of heart surgery is most often performed on patients suffering from coronary artery disease which causes their arteries to become blocked, decreasing blood flow to the heart.
During the surgery, a healthy blood vessel is transferred from someplace like the patient’s arm or leg and attached to the artery suffering from blockage. The Twitter feed provided by Lou’s surgeons showed him being connected to a heart-lung machine known as a by-pass which enabled doctors to harvest an artery from his left arm. The Centre’s chief of cardiac surgery expressed both pleasure and gratitude that Twitter enabled the public to see firsthand the wonders of life-saving heart surgery in addition to being able to inform the public about ways to prevent heart disease.