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Robotic technology to help Ohio State University heart surgeons

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the first time in this country, heart surgeons here will soon use new computer-enhanced robotic technology to improve heart bypass surgery, limiting patients' pain and the healing time normally associated with these procedures.

The new technique, recently begun in Europe, may be used on the first American patient as early as this summer. Ohio State is the first of a handful of medical centers expected to begin using the equipment in the next year.

University physicians joined officials from Intuitive Surgery, Inc., manufacturer of the da Vinci Computer-Enhanced Surgical System, in announcing a partnership Wednesday (6/30) at the Columbus campus. Ohio State is expected to pay $1 million for the equipment and will be the site of the first Food and Drug Administration-approved American clinical trial using this device.

Physicians have used endoscopy and laparoscopy for years as a way of reducing the invasive nature of certain surgical procedures. But some surgeries were considered too complex or risky for this approach, explained Pascal Goldschmidt, professor of cardiology and director of Ohio State's Heart and Lung Institute.

"Physicians were reluctant to use this approach when the risk of bleeding was high," Golds
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Contact: Jennifer Reimer
Reimer-1@medctr.osu.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University
7-Jul-1999


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