From live Tweet (August 15th, 2011)

8:22 am: Welcome to a day in the life of a neurosurgeon with Dr. Honeycutt! The surgical team is prepping for a chiari malformation surgery.

8:23 am: Chiari malformation is when the bottom of the brain herniates through an opening in the base of the skull.

8:30 am: Dr. Honeycutt further exploring patient’s MRI before stepping into surgery.


8:31 am: Wow. There are 9 people in here helping to get the little kiddo ready for her surgery. Talk about teamwork!!!

8:40 am: Downside to being in the iMRI is the surgery will take longer. Almost double the room time because of all the scanning. It will take about 4 hours

8:43 am: We have discovered there is no wireless in iMRI surgery suite, so stick with us!

8:49 am: While surgery staff is prepping patient, Dr. Honeycutt heading to Starbucks. On the way, got stopped to revisit emergency patient from last PM.

8:51 am: Poor girl came in after falling off her horse with a blood clot & facial fractures. Dr Honeycutt is looking at scans now.

Poor girl came in after falling off her horse w/a blood clot & facial fractures. Dr Honeycutt is looking @ scans now.

8:54 am: “Please don’t forget to wear your helmets,” encourages Dr. John Honeycutt.

9:01 am: And again…. The doc gets stopped in the hall to talk about a couple of other cases.

9:08 am: We are 1 of the few hospitals that have an MRI machine that can move in & out of the room. This allows us to scan the patient without moving them.

9:09 am: Only scheduled for one, but Dr. Honeycutt was on call all weekend. Always subject to change!

Our patient getting prepped for the surgery this morning. It takes a big team to make it happen.

9:22 am: Our patient getting prepped for the surgery this morning. It takes a big team to make it happen.

9:28 am: We just got scans back & Dr Honeycutt is reviewing. About ready for surgery! But before we do the doc reviews a DBS case for Wednesday.

9:29 am: DBS is deep brain stimulation. It’s performed on kids with movement disorders. The child is awake during surgery. Wow!!!

9:35 am: Scrub team waiting for the scan to finish.


9:40 am: Dr. Honeycutt explaining how the normal flow of spinal fluid has been altered.

9:44 am: Dr. Honeycutt doesn’t like to shave hair. If kiddo has long hair, he uses betadyne & then combs it in the shape of the incision. “It’s little things like that that make a difference to the families.” -Dr. Honeycutt


9:51 am: Scrubbing in!

9:59 am: Calling out the child’s information and everyone agrees. Surgery begins!


10:02 am: Nurse manager just contacted patient family to let them know we are getting started and the patient is doing great!

10:13 am: Dr. Honeycutt has begun to remove the back of the patient’s skull to begin decompression.


10:18 am: Look at the hat on the floor in iMRI. Garth Brooks helped us get money to have this cool machine. We are 1 of a few children’s hospitals to have it

10:21 am: Music is very important and after some technical difficulties, the iPod is playing. Dr. Honeycutt chooses his own music 2 listen to.

10:25 am: They have started to strip the dura. The dura is the membrane around the brain.

10:3 am: Our tweeter had to leave the radio shielded room to post tweets.


10:35 am: Counting the surgical instruments before prepping for another iMRI scan. How many instruments do you think we have prepped?


10:43 am: Have to get the room ready to scan! Tether everything back and remove all metal so the magnet doesn’t pull it in!

10:45 am: The surgery is going well. No major issues and everything is going smoothly. Waiting for the scan to see what we need to do now” says doc.

10:48 am: The iMRI scan normally takes 20-30mins. 60% of the time doc doesn’t have to go back in.

10:49 am: During the scan, doc usually does paperwork, checks email and does rounds.

11:02 am: 1 scan came in. Waiting on more but it’s looking good. There’s room she didn’t have before. Waiting for the next scan before making decision.

11:14 am: Dr. Honeycutt listens to all kinds of different music during surgery- pop, hip hop, salsa, Disney, show tunes…very eclectic music taste!

11:16 am: 2nd scan came in. The patient definitely has improvement in flow. There’s a huge difference and Dr Honeycutt is very happy. Time to close.

11:20 am: So what happens without the surgery? More spinal fluid buildup which will cause spinal cord damage.

11:22 am: The results are in!

11:39 am: Sewing up!


11:47 am: David Macomber, who is Dr Honeycutt’s first assistant, is finishing sewing up. So glad the patient did so well!

David Macomber, who is Dr Honeycutt's first assistant, is finishing sewing up. So glad the patient did so well!

11:57 am: Stitches complete and a full head of hair!


12:00 pm: Another great job by our awesome neuro team! Patient is doing great!


12:07 pm: Dr. Honeycutt is going to tell the family that their baby girl did amazing. And then a quick 20 min lunch. Neurosurgeons are definitely busy!

12:40 pm: On to rounds with Dr. Honeycutt!  Checking up on his patients.

12:43 pm: Doc is in with a 16 month old now who has hydrocephalus, which is too much fluid in the brain.

12:59 pm: Dr Honeycutt updates the charts of each kid he sees.

Dr Honeycutt updates the charts of each kid he sees.

1:18 pm: Child was in car accident & another hospital took out blood clot. Patient was transferred here afterwards for care. Doc put bolt in patient head& now recovering.

1:39 pm: Dr. Honeycutt consults with Dr. Easterling, Medical Director of PICU, about possibly transferring a patient to another unit.

1:46 pm: Dr. Honeycutt does rounds every day to check on his patients. Today he is with his nurse practitioner, Maureen.

1:49 pm: Maureen helps the doctors with paperwork and keeping tabs on the kiddos while the doc is unavailable. It helps expedite care.

2:19 pm: This is Christian! He had a brain tumor removed a few months ago, but the tumor came back.  He had surgery last week 2 remove the tumor again. Today, Christian was able to recall where he was. He is making great progress!

2:32 pm: Rounding back 2 patient who had the horse accident. Dr. Honeycutt was able to speak with the patient this time because they were awake. Prognosis: another night in the intensive care unit.

2:44 pm: Next patient is in rehab from a brain tumor. Patient was scanned for a pre-radiation evaluation. Dr. Honeycutt has operated before to insert a shunt for hydrocephalus. Shunt is working & doc wants to start radiation this week.  Mom said, “Let’s do it!”

2:59 pm: Dr.Honeycutt consults w/ Dr. Mark Shelton, infectious disease pediatrician, about another patient.

3:14 pm: A repeat catscan is ordered for patient who has an abscess. Patient is being weaned off steroids but being put on central line. Central line is easier for patient to receive antibiotics. It may be 6 more weeks to continue killing the infection that caused the abscess

3:28 pm: Dr. Honeycutt was on call this weekend & hasn’t seen his kids in 5 days. We’ve seen the amazing things he’s done for our kids, now he gets 2 go spend time w/his own. Thanks to Dr. Honeycutt for letting us into the neuro world!