It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but doctors have made a remarkable medical breakthrough by using magnets outside the body to control surgical instruments inside it.
The method can significantly reduce the need for surgical incisions, meaning far less scarring and shorter recovery times.
The technique involves putting tiny instruments and a camera into the body through a single incision or natural opening and then using magnets placed on the patient’s skin to drag them to the right place.
Once in position, the instruments – which are still being developed – will be ordered by a radio signal to carry out whatever task the surgeons wants, such as cutting and cauterising.
The system has been tested on animals with the removal of a kidney from a pig through a hole made in its navel.