SEATTLE, Wash. March 15, 2011 – Today from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Pacific Time-US), surgeons from the Swedish Orthopedic Institute will offer people the opportunity to see a knee surgery in a way that has rarely been done before by a health-care system. Sean Toomey, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon, will repair the knee of a 70-year-old male patient, while it is streamed live online. The webcast will be moderated by orthopedic surgeon James Crutcher, M.D. The patient, identified by Dr. Toomey as a candidate for a partial knee replacement procedure, volunteered and consented to have his minimally invasive knee resurfacing surgery streamed on the Internet.
The live webcast provides a rare front-row seat into advances in surgical technology, featuring new robotic-assisted technology and other available options for knee replacement. During the surgery, the video portion of the webcast will be embedded on Swedish’s web site here, which will be accompanied by a live chat. Viewers can send questions during the procedure using the live chat features (no login or account needed) or via Twitter using hash tag #livekneesurgery and may be answered by the narrating physician during the webcast. Anyone interested in learning about orthopedic options at Swedish or surgical technology is encouraged to follow the web stream.
Swedish is the only health system in the Puget Sound region (Greater Seattle area and beyond) to adopt new robotic technology to assist surgeons by removing and resurfacing only the arthritic part of a knee without sacrificing the entire knee joint. These devices are used in minimally invasive procedures that are performed through a two- to three- inch incision, which allows the surgeon to preserve as much of the natural bone and tissue as possible while offering less scarring and blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and the ability to return to everyday activities much sooner than with traditional knee replacement surgeries. The procedure is designed to treat early to mid-stage osteoarthritis and it can potentially provide more natural knee motion after surgery.
Millions suffer from osteoarthritis and a large percentage of them are diagnosed when the disease is in the early stages. For many people at any age with chronic knee pain, the robot-assisted procedure could be a viable alternative to total knee replacement or traditional manual partial knee resurfacing.
“Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of disability worldwide,” said Dr. Sean Toomey. “This technology allows us to treat patients with knee osteoarthritis sooner and with much greater precision. We’re hoping that with today’s webcast, more patients will be aware of the variety of orthopedic options available to them.”
Good candidates for the robotic-assisted treatment typically have three common characteristics: knee pain with activity on the inner knee, under the kneecap or the outer knee; pain or stiffness when starting from a sitting position; and failure to respond to non-surgical treatments or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
Swedish will hold a free community education session on joint replacement options and the new robotic-assisted technology on Thursday, March 31, 2011, April 14, 2011 and May 5, 2011. To register for these informational classes call 206-386-2502 or register online here. Viewers who want to hear about future classes, events or live streams are encouraged to ‘like’ the Swedish Orthopedic Institute Facebook page to stay up to date.
Opened in 2008, the Swedish Orthopedic Institute was the first dedicated facility of its kind in the Northwest and today is one of the largest in the United States. It is a part of Swedish Health Services.
As a comprehensive health-care system, Swedish is finding that patients are seeking out their health-care information online. Over the past several years, the hospital’s communications team has become more equipped to meet and interact with patients online in new ways, allowing for additional avenues to educate and engage with their health-care questions and needs.
Swedish has established itself as a social media leader integrating social media directly into its operating rooms and various clinics. In March 2010, a social media team from Swedish broadcasted a robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy (kidney) surgery through Twitter to promote kidney health awareness. In July 2010, Swedish’s Sleep Medicine Associates broadcasted the world’s first-ever social media 'Sleep Up,' a live overnight video stream of a patient’s sleep disorder testing, featuring video questions and answers with doctors via Ustream.tv and Twitter. In August 2010, Swedish’s Organ Transplant program physicians climbed Mount Rainier equipped with a social-media backpack to build awareness for liver and kidney transplantations. These social-media programs, among others, succeeded in reaching and educating millions of people around the world with relevant and important health-care awareness messages.
Established in 1910, Swedish has grown over the last 101 years to become the largest, most comprehensive non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area with 8,500 employees, 3,000-physicians and 1,200-volunteers. It is comprised of four hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard and Edmonds – a freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center in Issaquah, Mill Creek and Redmond. It includes the Swedish Visiting Nurse Services program and the Swedish Physician Division – a network of more than 40 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area. In fall 2009, Swedish broke ground on a new medical office building and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit Swedish online. In 2007, Swedish embarked upon an ambitious $100 million fundraising campaign. Campaign investments are used to support a wide-variety of initiatives throughout the health-care system, including cancer, heart & vascular, women & children, neurosciences, and orthopedics as well as programs to support the underserved populations. To date, the campaign has secured gifts totaling more than $74 million. For more information or to support the campaign, click here.
The information provided in this webcast is presented for educational purposes only. It is intended to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician. During the entire webcast, the patient’s safety is Swedish’s number one priority. The webcast will be streamed at the doctor’s discretion.