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Tuesday, August 18, 1998 Published at 21:49 GMT 22:49 UK


Internet heart surgery first

A hospital in Seattle has created a world first by broadcasting live images of a woman having open heart surgery.

Providence Seattle Medical Centre transmitted images of an open-heart bypass taken by a head-mounted camera worn by surgeon Robert Lazzara.

The surgery took place on Tuesday on Gloria Snoddy, 57, from Seattle.

Dr Lazzara said the implications of Internet transmission were limitless.

Speaking before the operation, he predicted: "This interactive technology will enable us to communicate in real-time with other physicians and educate the general public on advances in heart surgery anywhere in the world, at any time."

The hospital said it planned to use future Internet transmissions for educational purposes, allowing doctors and students at remote sites to watch and ask questions, during surgery.

The transmission used a high-speed T1 Internet connection.

The camera mounted on the doctor's head showed clear pictures of work being performed on the heart and blurred images as the doctor moved his head during surgery.

The hospital is planning numerous live broadcasts on the Internet throughout August including minimally invasive bypass surgery and valve repair operations.

[ image: Texas heart surgeon Denton Cooley: Second to go live]
Texas heart surgeon Denton Cooley: Second to go live
The Texas heart surgeon who performed the first successful US heart transplant in 1968, was just pipped at the post in the race to broadcast open heart surgery on the Internet.

Dr Denton Cooley will perform his operation at Houston's St Luke's Hospital live over the Internet on beginning at 1630 (GMT) on Wednesday.

In recent months the Internet has played host to more and more real-life events, including the first broadcast of a birth online in June.

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