Buckaroo Banzai performs long-distance operation
YORK, Pa. — World famous rocker and neurosurgeon Dr. Buckaroo Banzai has completed dozens of brain operations during his career, but the one he conducted yesterday was different for two reasons.
To begin, it was his first ever on a dog, and second, he hasn’t even ever stepped foot in York Hospital, where the surgery performed.
Banzai yesterday got his first opportunity to a device that allows surgeons to perform remote-controlled medical operations, including the riskiest of them all — brain surgery.
The device, dubbed the Long-Distance Operation Robot, or LDO, by designers Banzai and Hong Kong Cavaliers bandmates Perfect Tommy and New Jersey.
A BUCKAROO BANZAI
Yesterday’s test run had been in the planning stages for months, as Banzai sent out 15 of the LDOs to various locations throughout the United States and Canada, and Banzai waited for a suitable patient.
That patient came in the form of Crandall, a Saint Bernard owned by John and Bernadette Zurker of York, Pa., who was suffered from a brain swelling that wasn’t able to be controlled by medication.
Crandall’s veterinarian, Seymour McCracken, decided that the situation was critical and determined that operating was the only way to save the giant-sized pooch.
“After a bit of research, I found out about the LDO program at the Banzai Institute,” McCracken said. “Dr. Banzai was very specific about what could be used to participate. He wanted an animal that was going to die if it didn’t get an operation and one that had organs that were close to human proportions. Crandall fit on both counts, his swelling would have killed him and has the head the size of a linebacker.”
After getting the alert from his New Jersey headquarters, Banzai reviewed the data and decided to go ahead with the operation. An LDO was shipped out from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, about 50 miles south of York.
By 6 p.m. yesterday, Banzai was at the LDO control unit aboard his World Watch One tour bus, performing the six-hour procedure. “The operation went remarkably well,” Banzai explained from Detroit, where he and the Hong Kong Cavaliers were playing. “I’m told Crandall is conscious and wagging his tail.”
Banzai said the LDO suffered from some minor erratic behavior “probably from sunspot activity,” and therefore isn’t ready for human tests just yet. “Next time, we’ll provide a dedicated line into the LDO,” said Perfect Tommy. “That will keep it shielded from any future interference.”
Crandall is expected to make a full recovery from his brain swelling.
The Banzai Institute wants to send the LDO device into space, the Antarctic, battlefields and remote locations where surgical specialists are rarely available.
Additional LDOs are located in the U.S. cities of Boston, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, Houston, Sarasota, Fla., Portland, Ore., Billings, Mont., and Nome, Alaska. In Canada, additional units are in Hamilton, Ontario; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Calgary and Vancouver.