1,000 coronary angioplasties performed at Hospital da Luz

Coronary angioplasty or percutaneous coronary intervention is a minimally invasive procedure to unblock a coronary artery. A long thin catheter is used, which after having been inserted through a small incision in the skin into an artery in the groin or arm, is advanced to the heart where a balloon or stent stretches open a narrowed or blocked artery. 

At the Hospital da Luz hemodynamics unit, all of the most recent procedures can be performed in the field of interventional cardiology. It was at this unit that the stereotaxis niobe magnetic navigation system was used for the first time in Portugal in coronary angioplasty. The hospital has also been a pioneer in Portugal in the implanting of a type of innovative stent, specifically for the treatment of lesions at bifurcation points in coronary arteries. At the time, this intervention was published in the international medical press.

Francisco Pereira Machado, a cardiologist specializing in hemodynamics and interventional cardiology, has been the coordinator of the Hospital da Luz Cardiology Department since it opened. Before that, he worked mainly at the Hospital de Santa Cruz where he reached department head and was coordinator of the Hemodynamics Department. He is responsible for introducing numerous interventional cardiology techniques into Portugal, has participated in several international clinical trials and is the author or co-author of a significant number of papers and communications, four of which have won awards. 

At the 1,000th angioplasty at the Hospital da Luz, Francisco Pereira Machado was accompanied by Pedro de Araújo Gonçalves, who is also a cardiologist at the hospital, and by a team which included cardiopneumology and imaging technicians, nurses, medical assistants and administrative support staff.