Leading the way: Dr Javier Gallego, pioneer in minimally invasive thoracic and cardiovascular surgery

Dr Javier Gallego Poveda

Dr Javier Gallego Poveda is a renowned specialist in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. With over 20 years of experience in the field, he is a pioneer in the area of minimally invasive and robotic cardiac and thoracic surgery, and one of the few surgeons in the world who excels in, practices, and provides training in both specialties.

He received his training in cardiothoracic surgery at the Santa Maria University Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal, where he was the top resident in his class nationally based on the final specialty public examination.

He is a European Fellow in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology.

In 2015, he presented his international doctoral thesis in the field of heart tumour surgery.

He is a contracted university professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Algarve and responsible for postgraduate training courses in minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgery at NOVA Medical School in Lisbon.

Dr Gallego is a pioneer in uniportal video-assisted lung cancer surgery in Portugal and, recently, a global pioneer in the uniportal robotic technique, along with his colleague and friend, Dr Diego González Rivas.

He is also a pioneer in minimally invasive endoscopic mitral valve surgery, following training in Stuttgart, Germany in 2014, as well as atrial fibrillation surgery through thoracoscopy, and an advocate for other minimally invasive techniques in cardiac surgery. In 2022, he performed the first robotic heart surgeries in Portugal, making him one of the few surgeons in the world to perform this technique. 

He developed an innovative surgical technique for the minimally invasive endoscopic treatment of hyperhidrosis, leading the largest unit in terms of the number of patients operated on in Europe. 

In 2015, he founded the Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit (UMICS), where he serves as the clinical director. This unit performs surgeries in both Spain and Portugal, and he is the head of the department at three hospitals in Portugal, with operations conducted in Madrid and La Coruña.

The UMICS Academy provides training for both national and international surgeons.

He is the author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters and is a member of 12 scientific societies. In 2010, he received the "Cruz Oficial de Caballero de la Orden de Isabel la Católica" from His Majesty King Juan Carlos I for the creation of the "Red de Sanitarios Españoles en Portugal" Association, of which he is the president.

Despite his busy surgical and educational activities, Dr Javier Gallego is a family-oriented man who considers spending quality time with his daughters and family to be one of his top priorities.

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