Pioneering spinal surgery operation performed successfully by Coimbra hospital in Portugal

Image of surgeons performing an operation.

Image of surgeons performing an operation. Credit: Roman Zaiets/

THE Coimbra Hospital and University Centre (CHUC) in Portugal recently performed its first spinal surgery using biportal endoscopy, successfully treating a case of lumbar disc herniation.

As the CHUC explained in a statement to Lusa: ‘This is a complex surgical procedure that is performed through incisions measuring less than one centimetre, using a high-definition camera and a working channel, enabling the extraction of extruded disc fragments or widening of the spinal canal’.

Fernando Fonseca, the Portuguese facility’s director of Orthopedics Service highlighted that this therapeutic approach was previously prepared and trained for by a team to introduce this new technique.

What does this mean for CHUC users?

With the introduction of yet another therapeutic option in spine surgery in the Orthopedics Service, CHUC users now have access to a new technique as a result of the constant improvement of instruments and the advancement of surgical techniques he pointed out.

In this area, it allows us to offer a differentiating technique to properly selected patients with spinal pathologies, such as disc herniation or narrow canal.

‘Spine surgery has seen important developments in recent years, allowing it to be performed using minimally invasive methods, as well as faster recovery, with the same safety standards’, Fonseca continued.

How long must a patient remain in hospital after this type of surgery?

New techniques, such as endoscopic surgery, also allow the patient to return home in less than 24 hours, usually on the day of surgery the specialist added.

This first biportal endoscopic surgery was performed by a team made up of surgeon João Moreno and sixth-year intern Carla Olim Castro, with the support of orthopedist Eduardo Moreira Pinto, from Centro Hospitalar Entre Douro e Vouga, according to

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at


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