Micro-blogging service Twitter has been used by US surgeons to provide real-time updates on a live, robot-assisted surgical procedure.

Surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have given members of the public access to its operating rooms – by live Twittering some surgeries

Hospital surgeons earlier this month used the free micro-blogging service to post real-time updates of a robot-assisted surgery performed that morning on a 60-year-old man suffering from kidney cancer.

Using the micro-blogging web site , doctors uploaded short messages – ‘tweets’ – directly from a laptop in the darkened operating room, giving a step-by-step account the surgery.

The Twitter messages were posted at intervals and accompanied by YouTube video snippets of the surgery.

Doctors from the hospital also answered questions in real time from users about the surgery.

The newspaper report said that information was available to 385 Twitter users who signed up for the feed, according to hospital officials.

The hospital said the Twitter updates aimed to expose patients, medical students and physicians to the hospital’s new surgical procedures and technology.

The hospital began using Twitter in the autumn to provide updates on events, educational seminars and other types of health information.