CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Doctors at University Hospitals took part in a medical and television first this weekend.
They performed a brain surgery that was carried live on National Geographic Channel Sunday night.
Neurosurgeon Jonathan Miller, Neurologist Benjamin Walter and Asst. Professor of Neurosurgery Jennifer Sweet of University Hospitals surgically repaired a brain live on TV.
"We are very excited to show the public what it is that we do," Dr. Miller said.
The operation began with creating a small opening in the patient's skull, then implanting electrodes into the brain, an intricate procedure to say the least.
"During the surgery I'll be mapping the patient's brain and listening for individual brain cells," Dr. Walter explained.
The patient, Greg Grindley was awake for the entire procedure.
"He may be a little nervous, but I think he is more excited. This particular patient has been debating whether or not to proceed with surgery for some time," Sweet said.
Grindley, 49, battles early onset Parkinson's and is severely disabled by the disease. Medications offer some relief, but they are only short-term.
"The medications to treat Parkinson's can cause what we call Dyskinesia, which is too much movement, you may have seen this with Michael J. Fox and other patients with Parkinson's disease," Dr. Sweet explained. "Dyskinesia is a byproduct of the medications. This treatment will alleviate that."
"By televising this, it demonstrates to people and to other physicians that it is a very beneficial treatment option," added Dr. Sweet.
This delicate procedure is performed only at select medical centers, like University Hospitals Case Medical Center.