MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 27-year-old Hibbing man has made a remarkable recovery from a first-of-its-kind brain tumor operation in Minnesota.

Peter Carvalho underwent a three-hour operation less than a month ago in which a laser was used to heat up and destroy a brain tumor, which had caused depression and changes in his personality.

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The breakthrough surgery is giving hope to other patients.

“I woke up feeling great,” Carvalho said after the surgery, adding that his recovery time was basically zero.

The only scar from the procedure was a small red mark on his scalp.

Dr. Clark Chen, who performed the surgery, says that the operation, while impressive, is not a cure for tumors.

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“It’s a tool that we can use for many of the tumors that previously we were not able to treat,” he said.

Carvalho will need chemotherapy and radiation, and there is a chance the tumor could return.

Still, he is moving forward.

A native of Brazil, he is taking his U.S. citizenship test Tuesday. It’s something he says he never could have done without the pioneering surgery.

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Chen says the University of Minnesota is one of only a handful of medical institutions in the country performing the laser surgery procedure.

Esme Murphy