New York, NY (January 17, 2002) - A 71-year-old retired businessman from New Jersey is the first patient in the U.S. to receive robotically-assisted coronary artery bypass surgery without a chest incision of any kind. The operation was performed by Dr. Michael Argenziano, director of robotic cardiac surgery, and Dr. Craig Smith, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, as part of a clinical trial sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration at NewYork-Presbyterian's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center on January 15, 2002. Until this point, coronary artery bypass surgery required open-chest surgery, which involves an eight to ten-inch incision made in the chest. Robotically-assisted surgery requires only three pencil-sized holes made between the ribs. Through these holes, two robotic-arms and an endoscope (a tiny camera) gain access to the heart, making surgery possible without opening the chest.
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