The Kindest Cuts of All

Palm-size video cameras, miniaturized scissors and staplers, and minute incisions are starting to take the ouch out of surgery

Like a kid intent on a Nintendo game, Dr. David Sugarbaker looks not at the patient lying senseless on the operating table but at the TV positioned by her side. "I think we're right on target," he exults. Displayed on the screen is a larger-than-life section of the woman's right lung, a rosy mass marred by a couple of suspicious lumps. "Fire away," Sugarbaker directs the assisting surgeon. On the screen a tiny pincer appears. Grabbing hold of the lung just above the lesion, the pincer makes a clean slice through the quivering tissue, simultaneously sealing the wound by laying down...

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