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Drs. Harrison and Chitwood announce development of Mitral Valve and Atrial Fibrillation Clinic.

Dr. Eric E. Harrison, cardiologist, and Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, cardiac surgeon, Dr. Chitwood's web site, have developed a clinic for the diagnosis of mitral valve disease and fibrillation and selection of patients who might benefit from robotic minimally invasive mitral valve repair and/or cryo-ablation of atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Harrison has had a great deal of experience in evaluating patients with mitral valve disease and/or atrail fibrillation. He and his colleagues, Dr. Sheldon Spar and Dr. Dennis Pupello, started the first open heart surgery program on the west coast of Florida. Dr. Harrison evaluated many patients with rheumatic heart diseases of the mitral and aortic valve, and gained a very broad experience with the medical and surgical treatment.

Patient evaluation and diagnosis can be accomplished by testing at Harrison Cardiovascular Center and at the Memorial Cardiovascular Health Center at Memorial Hospital of Tampa. Memorial Hospital of Tampa does not have its own cardiovascular surgery program, therefore, patients and their physicians have the flexibility to choose cardiovascular surgeons at other institutions with exceptional surgical programs.

Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood is director of the center of excellence Cardiovascular Center program at Pitt County Hospital, Eastern Carolina State University, Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Chitwood has pioneered the use of robotic surgery to repair the mitral valve and ablate atrial fibrillation while achieving a world-class reputation. Robotic surgery allows these cardiac surgeries to be performed through very small incisions. This allows greater visualization with small video cameras, finer maneuvering of instruments, and more rapid recovery to a remarkable degree with lower mortality and morbidity.

Dr. Harrison has affiliated with this program to avail this service to patients in the Tampa Bay area. Dr. Chitwood will see patients here in Tampa. As well as evaluate data sent to him on-line from Harrison Cardiovascular Center and Memorial Cardiovascular Health Center.

Kim Ingravallo, ARNP, facilitates and coordinates this program in Tampa and Brian Floyd, Administrator, coordinates in Greenville to give a seamless connection.

Patients can either drive to Greenville or they can fly to Raleigh/Durham or Charlotte then to Greenville.

Frequently, robotic surgeries offer a shorter hospital stay to patients, a few days after surgery, patients will be seen by Dr. Chitwood in the Marriott Courtyard across from Pitt County Hospital prior to returning to Tampa.

Upon return, patients receive their postoperative outpatient care provided by Dr. Harrison and Kim Ingravallo at Memorial Cardiovascular Health Center and Harrison Cardiovascular Center. At the same time, Dr. Chitwood and Brian Floyd continue to closely monitor the patient by telephone and computer image links.

Recently, Dr. Chitwood was in Tampa to lecture at the second annual Enrique Lopez Cardiovascular Surgery Lecture at Memorial Hospital. Dr. Chitwood then met with several patients and future patients prior to discussing their cardiovascular workup with Dr. Harrison. Surgical technique and planing concerning individual patients were also reviewed.

Future case reviews will be provided on line, as well as in the clinic.

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