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"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."
- Isaac Asimov

Microsurgery Tool  
  Miniaturized device for surgical precision.  

When Brand Fanshaw crash-landed, his injuries were extensive. So much so, that Charlie Masson needed all of his skills - and his microsurgery tool.

In his slender hands he held a surgical instrument he had invented. It was a marvel! There was a long steel arm or standard that could be clamped on the end of an operating table. At the end of the arm was a binocular microscope. Beneath the latter were hundreds of screw buttons. And gathered right where the microscope was focused - where a needle-point beam of intense light could be projected for illumination - there was a ring of tiny metal prongs. You turned the screws below and the prongs moved - any or all of them - in any plane or direction you could mention, and with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision. At the end of each prong was a surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.

Micro-surgery!.. With an apparatus like that, it wasn't hard to believe that one could sort out and rejoin properly each of the countless, individual fibers of, say, a severed optic nerve.

From Masson's Secret, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1939
Additional resources -

Specialized microsurgical instruments were not really created until the 1960's. They were used to reconnect very fine blood vessels on the order of 1 mm in diameter; the very best of surgeons were limited to working on blood vessels 3-4 mm in size.

As far as I know, the first use of the term "micro-surgery" combined with a description of an actual technique was in "Micro-surgery in Chronic Simple Glaucoma" read by Otto Barkin to the California Medical Association in 1937.

He really didn't use a specialized, miniaturized instrument, nor did he use any kind of mechanism to reduce his large hand movements to tiny instrument movements.

The web seems to be full of references to Jules Jacobson being the first person to coin the word "microsurgery" (which is obviously untrue). Jacobson used a microscope (ordinarily used by ENT surgeons working on the inner ear) combined with jeweler's instruments.

Compare to the microrobot from The Scarab (1936) by Raymond Z. Gallun, the ultra-microrobot from Menace in Miniature (1937) also by Gallun, waldo from Waldo (1942) by Robert Heinlein, the golden shuttles from The Mechanical Mice (1941) by Maurice Hugi, the autofac nanorobots from Autofac (1955) by Philip K. Dick, the nanomachine swarm from The Invincible (1954) by Stanislaw Lem, the Christmas Bush robot from Rocheworld by Robert Forward and the robot cells from Robot City (1987) by Michael Kube-McDowell.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Masson's Secret
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Masson's Secret
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

Microsurgery Tool-related news articles:
  - NeuroArm Robotic Surgeon 'Hands'
  - 3D HD da Vinci Surgical Robotics
  - Robotic Microsurgery Instrument Goes Anywhere
  - Hand-Held Robot Operates On Man's Prostate
  - Six Amazing Surgical Robots In One Video
  - Mini Robot Uses 2 mm Surgical Tools
  - Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'

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