CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center live-tweeted the surgery for a 12-year-old girl in need of gastric bypass Friday morning, which revealed an unanticipated complication.
Alexis Shapiro suffers from hypothalamic obesity, a rare disorder that has caused her to experience rapid weight gain at almost 2 pounds per week.
The girl's condition was caused by the removal of a tumor called craniopharyngioma. While successful, that surgery crushed her hypothalamus and resulted in her large weight gain at almost 200 pounds.
The hospital's social media staff posted continuous updates on Twitter in an effort to bring awareness to the rare and often misunderstood condition. They used #HyObesity for others to follow the conversation.
At about 7:30 a.m. @CincyChildrens tweeted: "Alexis Shapiro's surgery day has arrived. Laparoscopic gastric bypass & vagotomy to treat #HyObesity"
By 9 a.m., the surgical team was preparing instruments to begin the procedure. About 30 minutes later, Alexis was being prepped for gastric bypass and vagotomy surgical procedures.
Once surgery began, the hospital sent an update that stated Shapiro's liver was larger than the team had anticipated and they would need to take another approach.
"@CincyChildrens: Planned gastric bypass & vagotomy no longer safest option for Alexis today given liver size #HyObesity"
Surgeons completed a sleeve gastrectomy instead, which according to hospital staff, is still expected to help Alexis lose weight and reduce liver size.
Forty minutes later, "@CincyChildrens: Surgical team has separated a portion of the stomach in sleeve gastrectomy procedure #HyObesity"
A press conference regarding Shapiro's surgery is planned for 3:15 p.m. Friday. Dr. Thomas Inge, a surgeon and professor of surgery and pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, will be answering questions about the surgery.
You can watch here: http://cchmcstream.cchmc.org/MediasiteEX/Play/49f6126295e940729e2ad4dc3c7596db1d