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Robotic Surgery Overview

Robotic Wrist Instruments

Posterior Leaflet Resection

Robotic Scissors
Cutting Chords

Closure of
Posterior Annulus

Annuloplasty Ring

First Center in the United States for Robotic Mitral Valve Surgery

En Español

W. Randolph Chitwood Jr., M.D., FACS, FRCS (Eng)
Senior Associate Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs
Director, East Carolina Heart Institute
Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Curriculum Vitae

Brief Biography

Ellis Island Medal of Honor 2009 Recipient

East Carolina Heart Institute

Cardiac Master Classes

Reinventing Cardiovascular Care - East Carolina Heart Institute

East Carolina Heart Institute Virtual Tour

East Carolina Heart Institute Dedication Press Conference

Robotic-Assisted Surgery Milestone

Interview with Dr. Chitwood


Our surgeons are national leaders in robotic and minimally invasive cardiac surgery reducing trauma and pain to patients and allowing them a shorter recovery time. In addition, we are using the latest surgical technique for treating atrial fibrillation. Often atrial fibrillation ablation are done simultaneously with mitral valve repairs. We perform traditional and minimally invasive coronary bypass and mitral valve repair surgery. Each year we perform more than 1,200 open-heart surgeries of all complexities.

Since 1996, we have been performing mitral valve surgery using new videoscopic and robotic techniques. To date, we have performed over 700 minimally invasive videoscopic mitral valve repairs using Aesop and over 550 robotic repairs using daVinci. We performed the first minimally invasive mitral valve surgery using Aesop in Austria and South Korea and the first robotic mitral valve surgery using DaVinci® in England, India, Italy, and Thailand. We specialize in repairing the most complex mitral valve pathology including Barlow’s (bileaflet and anterior leaflet disease). Adjunctively, we perform concomitant procedures for atrial fibrillation.On May 3, 2000, we did the first robotic open-heart case in the United States. These repairs are performed through a two and a half inch incision. Also, we completed the first US clinical trials for robotic mitral valve surgery using daVinci and led the multi-center trial which received FDA approval in November 2002. Our results have been presented at recent peer review meetings.

Robotic Surgery Training Information

Links of Interest:
State of the Heart: The East Carolina Heart Institute
Robotic Mitral Valve Repair Using the Haircut Technique
da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair Patient Education Seminar
Webcast Link: Upcoming - Atrial Fibrillation on May 30, 2006
Robotic Cardiac Surgery - Journal of Long-Term
Effects of Medical Implants
Robots Lend a Helping Hand to Surgeons
By Michelle Meadows

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
University Health Systems

The Mitral Valve Question

Physician Contact l Patient Contact