Device Aids Coronary Bypasses

Gives surgeons use of 'robotic' arms

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MONDAY, July 12, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Doctors who perform coronary bypasses have a new helper -- a robotic-like system that allows them to perform cardiac surgery while seated at a computer screen.

The Da Vinci Endoscopic Instrument Control System, made by Intuitive Surgical of Mountain View, Calif., uses handgrips and foot pedals to control three robotic arms that can manipulate a variety of surgical tools. A wrist-like feature can afford more intricate motion and better control of the tools than the human hand, the company said.

The system won its latest approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. It had already been FDA-approved for several other types of cardiac surgery, and for general gall bladder and reflux disease surgery, an FDA statement said.

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