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Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

When you come to MUSC Health’s Heart and Vascular Center for treatment of a heart condition, you benefit from more than first-rate heart surgeons. You also are in the expert hands of experienced cardiothoracic anesthesiologists who have advanced training in anesthesiology for people with heart disease.

A cardiothoracic anesthesiologist is the doctor who oversees your well-being and pain management during heart procedures, including surgeries. These specialists complete additional fellowship education and training in cardiac medicine, critical care, ultrasound imaging of the heart, and pharmacology.

Cardiac Anesthesia Care at MUSC Health Heart & Vascular Center: Why Choose Us?

At the Heart and Vascular Center, we recognize that it can be nerve-wracking to undergo any type of heart procedure. To ensure that you receive the highest quality care possible, all of our anesthesiologists involved in heart procedures have specialized expertise in cardiac care.

When you come to our center, you will find:

  • Depth of Experience: All of our cardiothoracic anesthesiologists have advanced fellowship training. They are board certified in transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), an ultrasound procedure that provides detailed views of your heart valves and chambers. Meet our team.
  • Optimal Surgical Outcomes: Because our anesthesiologists have completed additional training to care for adults undergoing heart or lung procedures, they have a deep understanding of what it takes to keep you comfortable and safe throughout your experience. Their expertise contributes to favorable procedural results.
  • Teamwork: Our anesthesiologists are an important part of your healthcare team. They work directly with your heart doctors, providing diagnostic information and recommendations for the best surgical approach for your particular heart condition.
  • Dedication: Our team of is nationally renowned for their active involvement in organizations that are advancing heart care, including the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists and the American Society of Echocardiography’s Council on Perioperative Echocardiography. They also serve on hospital leadership committees focused on patient safety, quality, and best practices.
  • Research: MUSC Health cardiothoracic anesthesiologists are dedicated to improving patient care through participation in national research. They study medicines and techniques that best protect your heart and other organs during heart procedures.

Experienced Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists

At the Heart and Vascular Center, our board-certified cardiothoracic anesthesiologists perform many life-saving functions. These include:

  • Administering anesthetic medicines to keep you comfortable during and after heart procedures. This may include:
    • General anesthesia to make you unconscious during heart surgery.
    • Local anesthesia or sedation to produce a sleepy, or “twilight,” effect for procedures performed in our cardiac catheterization or electrophysiology (EP) labs.
  • Contributing to surgical planning by performing transesophageal echocardiograms (TEE) to get a closer view of the heart valves and chambers. Your surgeon may use these findings to determine the best surgical approach for your particular heart problem.
  • Continually monitoring your vital functions, such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and fluid and blood needs, during heart procedures.
  • Evaluating organ function to ensure the health of all organs during surgery.
  • Making medical decisions, such as increasing or decreasing oxygen or administering more fluids, based on the monitoring of your vital signs and organ function.