Inside the operating room of the Hospital of Faro where history was made

New surgical intervention

Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação

The clock reads 10:30 in the Cardiology operating room of the Faro of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve and the hustle and bustle a lot. Doctors and nurses are preparing the surgical intervention that, in a few minutes, will mark a new life in this Unit. 

On the stretcher is a young woman with an unusual medical history. She is 22 years old, but despite her age, she already knows what it is like to have a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA).

Hugo Vinhas, coordinator of the Cardiology and Hemodynamics Unit, is one of the doctors present in the room.

Wearing a gown, lead vest and mask, she tells us that the patient suffers from a clinicopathological condition in the heart called Patent foramen ovale.

“This is something that is actually present in 20% of the population. However, there is a small minority that persists with this hole – the foramen ovale – which usually closes at birth”, he says.

It is this change that can lead to a stroke, as happened with this young woman.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação


«By closing this orifice, placing a device, we want to prevent new Cerebral Vascular Accidents that can be disabling», explains Hugo Vinhas.

The coordinator of CHUA's Cardiology and Hemodynamics Unit follows the entire operation in detail. And this is no reason for less: the intervention we witnessed is «a milestone» in the history of Hospital de Faro.

“What we normally do is treat heart attacks, for example. This type of operation, which we are inaugurating today, is already being carried out in other centres, but here, in the Algarve, it is new. Basically, we are meeting the needs of the population”, he adds, without hiding his pride.

Before, patients had two options: either they went to Lisbon or they were simply not treated.

In the operating room, everything seems to be going smoothly.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação


Eduardo Oliveira, the doctor who came from Hospital Lusíadas to help, explains the intervention step by step. When placing the device on the patient, it is delicate, very delicate.

In front of her, a monitor displays the young woman's heartbeat.

Eduardo Oliveira is like the conductor of that orchestra of health professionals who, as the minutes go by, make history.

«This is a very important intervention and it is always a pleasure to come to Faro with this exceptional team. They work extremely well and knew how to create conditions for this type of intervention”, he says.

Eduardo Oliveira talks about a «very important project», words that João Pedro Guedes also repeats.

The cardiologist already had experience «as a second operator», but confesses that, for this intervention, he went back to «studying and reading about the subject».

«You have to know each step because, between theory and practice, there are always details», says the doctor.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação


In the operating room, the initial hustle and bustle has calmed down. The intervention is approaching the end and there is a sense of accomplishment.

The patient, still lying on the stretcher, is waking up from the anesthesia.

"Done, it's over! Everything is fine!”, says one of the nurses to the young woman.

Once outside the room, Hugo Vinhas looks ahead to what is to come.

“Everything new gives us some anxiety, but this was just the beginning. We have patients on the waiting list and this intervention only adds even more value to what we already do», he concludes.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação