Nat Geo to air live brain surgery special on October 25

Produced by Leftfield Pictures and hosted by Bryant Gumbel, Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss will showcase a delicate brain surgery procedure during which patients must remain awake.
October 7, 2015

National Geographic Channel will air a live brain surgery special later this month.

Produced by Leftfield Pictures, Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss will take viewers inside a neurosurgery operating room at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland to watch deep brain simulation surgery, a delicate elective procedure that is only performed in U.S. with specially trained medical personnel.

The two-hour special, which will air on October 25 at 9 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. PT in the U.S. on Nat Geo and Nat Geo Mundo, will include pre-shot features about the human brain. NGC is partnering with magazine and blog Mental Floss to present the program.

Bryant Gumbel will host the special while neurosurgeon Dr. Rahul Jandial and podcaster Cara Santa Maria offer expert commentary.

In DBS surgery, the patient is fully awake and able to speak with the neurosurgeons and neurologists who are able to put the patient through a series of tests to determine whether or not they have pinpointed the intended area. The patient who will feature in the special will be announced closer to the taping.

The production team will use two manned, handheld cameras in the operating room in addition to robotic cameras with inputs director into the doctors’ surgical equipment.

“As a result, throughout the live broadcast, viewers will see exactly what the neurosurgery team is seeing: up-close, live images of the brain as it is being operated on in real time,” the network said in a statement.

“By partnering with National Geographic and Mental Floss, two incredible brands with a passion for exploring science, we hope to demystify brain surgery, diminishing the fear and stigma of this operation,” said Dr. Jonathan Miller, neurosurgeon and director of the Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in a statement.

NGC will also run Brain Surgery Live internationally but the taped version will air in some markets.

Brent Montgomery, David George, Shawn Witt, Gretchen Palek, Robert Wheelock and Scott Miller are exec producing for Leftfield. Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur are the EPs for Mental Floss and Char Serwa and Mike J. Miller are the network’s exec producers.

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