Dozens of local high schoolers try their hand at robotic surgery

SALEM, Va. – Local high school students tried their hand at surgery Monday.

LewisGale Medical Center brought its robot used in surgery to the Salem Civic Center to give students a chance to try it and to help shape their future along the way.

"It's hard to describe. It was unlike anything I’ve done before," said Timothy Tuttle, a senior at Salem High School.

Monday, the Salem Civic Center hosted the “da Vinci,” famous for minimally-invasive robotic-assisted surgery.

"I could see Lincoln sitting in the Lincoln Memorial on a penny and that was really cool and I could never see that with my own eyesight," Tuttle said.

"It's all robotic controlled so you can stop whenever you want, you can restart, you can flip the camera, you can just get a lot more depth and control than you can with just a regular surgery," said Logan Boettcher, a senior at Salem High School.

It was a unique opportunity for Salem and North Cross High School students interested in STEM and robotics to see where their future careers could take them.

“We build stuff in robotics but, you know, we’re in high school; we’re not, like, professional engineers; we haven’t been to college yet, but to see what people who have had that experience can build is really impressive and it inspires me to go and do the same thing in college,” Tuttle said.

"I think it's really important for young people to see what they can do if they pursue their dreams and for me, robotics is a perfect way for them to get that kind of exposure," said LewisGale Medical Center’s Dr. Joseph Troise.

Experts said it’s a chance to inspire the next generation.

"Maybe come back and teach me something someday," Troise said.

"Who knows, I might end up building something like this," Tuttle said.

About 60 students came through Monday. Community members also had the chance to sign up and try their hand at the da Vinci.

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