East Texas Doctors Teaching Others With Live Surgery

Lights. Camera. Action.

No, this isn't a scene from a hospital TV show. It's a surgery done in Tyler this morning at Mother Frances Hospital that hundreds of doctors around the nation watched live.

The surgery, laparoscopic gastric bypass, is a weight loss surgery that's very specialized.

"This procedure which used to be through large incision is now done with five to six tiny incisions," explains Dr. Robert McKinney.

Not all hospitals perform this surgery laparoscopicaly, so the American College of Surgeons asked Mother Frances to demonstrate.

"We want to show other surgeons how to set up a program like this and what pieces they need to make it work," says Dr. Charles Beall.

Thanks to special cameras in the operating room, pictures from inside the body were transmitted in real time hundreds of miles away. In the future this special operating room can be used not only to teach other physicians around the globe, but to also give east Texas surgeons another valuable opinion, in mid-surgery.

"You could televise this to a surgeon in a different country if you wanted to live and he could give his opinion or evaluation at that point in time," says Dr. Beall.

The doctors say that translates into better care for you.

"I think what this new technology brings is confidence to East Texans they can know when they come to Tyler to get care they are receiving state of the art care," says Dr. McKinney.