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UCLA, USC and Tehran University Of Medical Science Host Live Telesurgery

Source : UCLA Center for World Health
Posted on Mar 17, 2014 by Todd Sedmak
Tags: Advanced Networking, Community-Driven Innovation, Frontpage News, Health & Life Sciences, Higher Education, News

UCLA Center for World Health

Thomas J. Coates, PhD, Director

J. Thomas Rosenthal, MD, Co-Director



With special license from the US Treasury Department for the interactive telecast, UCLA Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Arya Nick Shamie will be performing spinal surgery on Monday, March 17, to be broadcast from the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center to Tehran University of Medical Science in Iran. 

The surgery will be transmitted from the UCLA Santa Monica operating room via an audiovisual bridge at UCLA and distributed to venues including Pakistan, Tanzania, Brazil and other countries, as well as Washington DC.  In advance of the surgery, Dr. Jafarian will be welcomed to the telecast by Dr. Thomas Coates, Director of the UCLA Center for World Health. 

In a collaborative effort of the Southern California Orthopedic Education Network (SCOrENet) involving doctors from UCLA and USC, Dr. Shamie will use the interactive telecast to teach medical colleagues in Iran an experimental procedure to treat the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis.  As Dr. Shamie implants the newly developed X-Stop Spacer, a spacer inserted into the spine to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve, Iranian doctors will be able to ask questions about the procedure in live telecast interaction.

Sanctions against Iran have been sharply criticized for creating shortages of medicines and other supplies.  Therefore, UCLA-USC supported medical capacity-building initiatives like this interactive surgery telecast have been given US Department of Treasury special license for humanitarian and educational projects and activities designed to directly benefit the Iranian people.  

Nevertheless, it took Ed Johansen, working on behalf of SCOrENet nearly a year to receive US government authorization.  Further complexities arose from orchestrating the involvement of organizations as diverse as the National Academy of Science, National Library of Medicine, Internet2, Karl Storz Endoscopy, and the UCLA AV/VTC Services, as well as doctors in Pakistan, Tanzania, Afghanistan, and Brazil, who will also be watching.

From April 2014 to July 2014, a series of similar telecasts featuring orthopedic surgeons from Brazil and the United States, or GOAL – the Global Orthopedic Alliance -- specializing in sports medicine will tie into Brazil's hosting of the World Cup.

For further information, please contact:      Rosvita Rauch

                                                              Director of External Relations

                                                              UCLA Center for World Health

                                                              David Geffen School of Medicine

                                                              Tel: 213 507 2753 / Email: