Hello! My name is Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood and I am a cardiac surgeon having graduated from University of Virginia in 1974. To date, I have performed approximately over 10,000 cardiac surgeries, of which more than 5,000 involved heart valve procedures. I regularly perform surgery at hospitals including East Carolina Heart Institute and Vidant Medical Center. Read more...
I believe my greatest strength is the development of minimally invasive cardiac valve and atrial fibrillation surgery. I was the pioneer of robotic heart surgery, as well as, the principle investigator on FDA trials regarding robotic mitral valve repair. I have trained over 350 other surgeons in the field - which includes most of the surgical programs in the United States and world who are now doing robotic, minimally invasive mitral valve surgery.
"After aortic valve and coronary bypass, I came through with flying color. Thanks Dr. Chitwood!"
-- Rodney Trueblood, heart valve surgery patient
"I had a wonderful experience with my surgical team. I had excellent care and a very sucessful recovery. I would highly recommend Dr. Chitwood, Dr. Kwon and the magnificent team that performed my surgery. The nurses and other team members were very knowledgeable and efficient and they treated me as if I was the only patient they had. I felt like a celebrity. I can only speak positive, they love what they do and it shows. I highly recommend them and I will continue to refer people. I would hope that everyone who goes through this surgery could the care I recieved and the results that I was given. God, prayers,a loving husband and these fine people are the reason I am able to send this message....God bless them all❤️"
-- Gwen Soltis, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 08/21/2014
I no longer have a murmur and my arrythmias are all gone. I am 8 weeks post op and am pain free-back to work full time as a veterinarian, and played golf today.
By not having my sternum cracked, my recovery was shorter and I was never in a lot of pain. Dr Chitwood and his team at East Carolina Heart Institute were outstanding in the care they provided me and I recommend him highly for anyone needing open heart surgery."
-- Arthur Wilder, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 04/10/2014
Everyone I encountered; doctors, nurses, physicians assistants etc., were attentive, kind, caring and very professional. The supreme quality of care I received at ECHI has left a lasting impression on me and I am truly grateful to Dr. Chitwood and his entire team.
Dr. Chitwood used the Da Vinci robot to repair torn chordae, which separated from the posterior leaflet and caused the mitral valve to leak. My surgery went very well and the torn valve was successfully repaired without complication.
Throughout my recovery period, both in the hospital and afterwards, I never experienced any serious pain or discomfort -- only mild to moderate soreness, and some numbness around the incision sites, which gradually dissipated over time.
Overall, my experience at ECHI, and with robotic surgery, was nothing but positive and I would highly recommend Dr. Chitwood and ECHI to anyone who is a candidate for robotic, mitral-valve, repair surgery."
-- Duane Lacock, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 12/17/2013
-- Larry Robinson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/21/2013
-- Scott Newson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 11/20/2012
Dr. Chitwood and his team at East Carolina Heart Institute; Greenville, North Carolina performed my mitral valve repair robotically on November 16, 2012. I have never had such a completely positive experience like this in any other healthcare setting! My encounters with all levels of staff from the office to the hospital were nothing less than professional, patient centered (all about me!) and efficient. The facility was luxurious with state of the art technology and had wonderful accommodations for me and my family. The communications among the healthcare providers were outstanding and reflected in the consistent manner in which I received pre and post-op care. I attribute this strong sense of team and high quality care to Dr. Chitwood’s leadership.
Dr. Chitwood has a wonderful bedside manner that immediately put me at ease! He was interested in me as a person – not another “mitral valve”. Dr. Chitwood answered all my questions, never seemed rushed and made me feel confident in his recommendations and surgical expertise.
Also, two of Dr. Chitwood’s associates deserve special recognition for their professionalism and dedication to the Heart Care Team; Dr. H. Saleh and Dr. B. Bush. These surgeons went above and beyond expectations caring for me during my initial surgery and through two episodes of post op concerns. They spent time with me to discuss my health issues, expedited diagnostic tests and developed comprehensive plans for recovery. I am thankful to these two surgeons and understand why Dr. Chitwood has them on his team!
I feel fortunate that I had such a “class act” cardiac surgical team so close to home (2 hours) and would most strongly recommend them to anyone; regardless of the travel distance! "
-- Lori Glew, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 11/16/2012
-- Lee Morgan, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 01/20/2012
-- Kathryn Holen, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 11/22/2011
-- Richard Faucher, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 01/10/2011
-- Nick Strauss, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 07/20/2010
-- E. Rodney Trueblood, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/01/2009
-- Diane Fiedorczyk, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 02/16/2009
-- mary watson, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/06/2009
-- debbie beman, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 12/08/2008
Landon was only 21 years of age and very doubtful about his future. Dr. Chitwood repaired his mitral valve and after a week we left with a healthy son. Landon has had no further valve problems. I witnessed a miracle that week and thank you doesn't seem adequate. Landon and I have shared this miraculous story with many and hope to continue sharing. May God continue to bless Dr. Chitwood and Brody School of Medicine."
-- Kimberly Bowers, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 05/05/2005
Specific to heart valve surgery, you should know that I have several specialties including:
In addition, I have research and clinical interests specific to:
Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, heart surgeon, graduated from University of Virginia in 1974.
Dr. Chitwood graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and received his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He completed the surgical residency at Duke University Medical Center, spending 10 years training in general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and basic science research.
After his chief residency at Duke in 1984, he was selected to begin and head the new cardiac surgery program at the East Carolina University School of Medicine. Except for a two-year hiatus as the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Chitwood has spent his entire career at East Carolina University and Vidant Medical Center (formerly Pitt County Memorial Hospital).