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Cincinnati Childrens Hospital live tweets during surgery

CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- A 12-year-old girl with a rare weight-gain condition is recovering after surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Not only is her condition rare but something else rare happened Friday.  For the first time at Children's, there were live tweets sent out during the operation.

Alexis Shapiro had brain surgery which impacted her hypothalamus and caused a condition called Hypothalmic Obesity.  It causes uncontrollable hunger and led a normal sized child to balloon up to 200 pounds.

Dr. Tom Inge of Cincinnati Children's Hospital said, "This problem with the hypothalamus leads to increased hunger drive but it also leads to the inability to produce energy."

She could go on to gain more weight and become immobile.  So Friday, Alexis Shapiro from San Antonio, Texas had surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. 

The intent was to do a gastric bypass but the child's liver was enlarged.  So instead of the gastric bypass the surgery team at Children's did something called a sleeve gastrectomy.

"With a sleeve gastrectomy we remove 80 percent of the stomach.  We leave a narrow sleeve and take out a majority of the stomach.  What we can do later is a conventional gastric bypass," Dr. Inge said.

Live tweeting during surgery may seem like an invasion of patient confidentiality.  But inside the operating room the tweets were words only and the pictures were sent out before the surgery happened.  The girl's parents wanted the tweets done to publicize the child's rare condition.
Twenty-four tweets were sent out over the several hour surgery.  Doctors say once Alexis recovers, she will have a new normal.  She won't lose all the weight but she will lose plenty.  A new normal which is far better than the old normal.

Learn more about Alexis' surgery HERE

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