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Chitwood: No problems with robotic tool

“This device, when used in an appropriate way by a properly trained surgeon, will give results you wouldn’t believe.”


Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood
director of the East Carolina Heart Institute

By Michael Abramowitz

The Daily Reflector

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A Greenville-based pioneer in robotic surgery said on Tuesday that he has full confidence in the capabilities of a robotic tool that has come under close scrutiny for reported problems in other parts of the country.

A million-dollar, multi-armed robot named da Vinci, is manufactured in California by Intuitive Surgical. It was used in nearly 400,000 surgeries nationwide last year and is being linked to surgical problems, including several deaths, that may be linked with it.


The Food and Drug Administration is looking into a spike in reported problems during robotic surgeries. Earlier this year, the FDA began a survey of surgeons using the robotic system. The agency conducts such surveys of devices routinely, but FDA spokeswoman Synim Rivers said the reason for it now “is the increase in number of reports received” about da Vinci since early last year, including at least five deaths.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart