Yes, you read that right, and no, it’s not a joke.
For what appears to be the first time ever, brain surgery will be broadcast live on TV courtesy of the National Geographic Channel and Mental Floss, which are joining forces with Leftfield Pictures to produce “Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss.”
Set to air on Sunday, October 25 at 9 p.m. ET, the special, hosted by Bryant Gumbel with co-host Cara Santa Maria and expert commentary from Dr. Rahul Jandial, will take viewers inside the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, as surgeons perform an operation known as deep brain stimulation, a procedure used to treat tremors and Parkinson’s disease.
In DBS, the patient remains fully awake and able to speak throughout the procedure, which allows them to help guide the surgeons as they seek to pinpoint affected areas in the brain. The audience will be able to see live feeds from cameras used by surgeons as they operate, so viewers can see the actual procedure up close. In short: OMG!
The special, which will also air on Spanish-language Nat Geo Mundo will intersperse live coverage with pre-produced features about the brain, including the history of attempts to study and understand its workings, and what the future may hold for brain science and medicine. Topics will include differences between male and female brains, as well as the role of virtual reality in surgery.
Mental Floss co-founder Will Pearson stated: “Deep brain stimulation procedures are changing lives in hospitals all across the world. By partnering with National Geographic Channel, we have access to this modern-day medical marvel. From the history of the brain to the revolutionary progress ahead in neuroscience, we’re going to give a truly mind-bending look at the brain, providing viewers with a deeper understanding of their gray matter.”
Among other goals, the partners hope the special will help diminish the stigma and fear that surrounds brain surgery for many people.