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'Ask a Scientist' presentation to explore the da Vinci Surgical System

November 14, 2012
Dr. Erica Barrette

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumna Dr. Erica Barrette, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, will present "The da Vinci Surgical System" Nov. 21 as part of UW-Eau Claire's "Ask a Scientist" series.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Acoustic Café in downtown Eau Claire.

Barrette will discuss the technology and future of the da Vinci Surgical System, a device that creates a robotic miniature extension of a surgeon's hands, allowing the manipulation of tiny, delicate instruments through a small incision with a great degree of accuracy. She also will discuss what patients could expect if the device were being used to help them.

Barrette said the technology is exciting and safe for both the patient and the physician. She describes the DaVinci surgical system as having two separate parts — the console and its tool.

"The (tool) part is a very delicate extension of the physician's fingers, with the console providing magnification like a microscope, both giving the surgeon greater dexterity in surgery," Barrette said.

Barrette's presentation will consist of a 30-minute presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session.

"Ask a Scientist," typically held the third Wednesday of each month, will not be presented in December. The series will resume Jan. 16, 2013, with a presentation titled "Fun with Liquid Nitrogen" by Dr. J. Erik Hendrickson, professor of physics and astronomy at UW-Eau Claire.

For more information about the series, contact Dr. Paul Thomas, professor of physics and astronomy, at



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