Stuart Seides MD

By MedStar Health

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Associate Director, Cardiology Start Date: 1978

FIRST ANGIOPLASTY: JITTERS AND SUCCESS

On February 12, 1981, I arrived at the Hospital Center at 5 a.m. in the dark hours of the morning, because we were scheduled to do the hospital's first angioplasty. I wasn't alone. Nelson Puig, the chief cardiovascular technologist, was there, too. We were anxious, because this technique was so new. The patient wasn't even scheduled until 7:30, but I wanted to check and re-check the equipment myself just to be sure. We had been ready for an angioplasty case for six months, but back then, only a few patients were candidates for this procedure. We didn't have today's advanced tools or imaging technology; we had to be cautious.

We were all thrilled that the first patient did very well, but it took another three months to find a second patient who fit the criteria. That year, we performed a total of six angioplasties, and we thought that was great! This past year, there were more than 19,000 cardiac catheterization​s done at the Hospital Center. It's been an amazing ride from those first few cases to where we are today. I'm grateful to have been a part of it, and also grateful to Dr. Jim Bacos (former chief of cardiology) whose vision and leadership helped to establish the hospital as a world-class heart center.

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