A local surgeon performed his 400th heart surgery using a robotic-cardiac procedure Friday at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville.
Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood is a pioneer in the development and expansion of minimally invasive mitral valve surgery. The procedure is used rather than the old replacement procedure because its safer, less painful and actually repairs the valve. Dr. Chitwood is the director of the East Carolina Heart Institute and a professor at ECU's Brody School of Medicine. He has performed more of these operations than any other surgeon in the world.
The Brody School of Medicine was the first training site for this operation. An estimated 40,000 patients per year have operations on their mitral valve, the inflow valve for the left side of the heart.