An ultrasonic scalpel shows promising results for a safer bone surgery. The ultrasonic scalpel vibrates 22,500 times a second, which allows it to ram through bone like a jack-hammer.
But it bounces off soft flesh, leaving blood vessels, nerves and other delicate tissues undamaged.
Surgeon Mr Evan Davies of Southampton's Spire Hospital used the scalpel to slice through the backbone and expose the tumour on Peter Withinshaw, who had a tumour pressing on his spinal cord.
Normally drills, saws and chisels would be used, with a high risk of a paralysing injury to the spinal cord.
"Because we'd have been using high speed tools near the nerves there would have been the risk of damaging the nerves," Davies told the Sky News.
"The nice thing about the scalpel is that it is a lot safer technique near delicate structures.
"And that's why we like it for this sort of operation," he added.
Peter Withinshaw says he is looking forward to doing the gardening
Davies, who is one of the first British surgeons to test the device, said it made operations quicker, and reduced blood loss to almost zero.
The scalpel is so precise that it can cut a window in an eggshell while leaving intact the thin membrane that surrounds the egg white.