Doctors at Rambam Hospital in Haifa recently performed an operation to remove a benign tumor that had grown to the size of a tennis ball between the base of the skull and the jaw of a 70-year-old woman who had let it grow rather than go through an operation that used to require incisions in the neck, sawing of the jaw and possibly of the skull. Because of the tumor's growth, it became life threatening.
Through the use of the Da Vinci apparatus which has been used for prostate and other surgery, the doctors at Rambam were able to enter microscopic arms for the surgery tools, including camera and suction without damaging nerves or blood vessels. Forty-eight hours later, the patient could drink and speak freely and needed no further treatment. The operation was the first of its kind in Israel and one of the first in the world.