By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  It’s the only place at the State Fair where you can see surgery on a stick.

“It allows us to do complex surgeries through very small incisions,” U of M Oncologist Dr. Christopher Weight said.

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In this case, Dr. Weight is performing what one might call a “pronto pupsectomy,” opening up a corn dog and then sewing it back together.

The Da Vinci Xi Surgical System has a variety of functions, it can make big incisions or small ones. It excels at removing tumors and can cut patient hospital time in half.

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“It’s fun, almost like a video game,” Dr. Weight said. “I just dissected off some strawberry seeds. Everybody knows how small those are and I was able to use those and line them out to spell out the U of M.”

They even let us try it to show how far surgery has come. Picking up pennies and moving rubber bands with these tools almost becomes second nature.

“The magnification is about 10 fold so you can get in close and see things you can’t with your own eyes,” Dr. Weight added.

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You see four ports now but Intuitive already has technology that can fit all these instruments and a camera into a single port, which is less invasive for the patient and means less scarring in the future.

John Lauritsen