Our cardiac anesthesiologists are physicians who are specially trained in anesthesiology, with additional training in “Anesthesia for the Heart”, and intraoperative echocardiography.
Before you receive anesthesia, you will meet your anesthesiologist. Be prepared to talk about your recent and past health history, including any medications you may be taking, allergies, and tobacco and alcohol use. This crucial information will help the anesthesia specialist to care for you.
It is important to know that it is not unusual to be concerned or uneasy. We encourage you to ask questions.
Once you are ready for surgery, the cardiac team members will accompany you to the operating room, and place the appropriate monitors necessary for your care. Using state-of-the-art equipment, we will monitor your heart, blood pressure, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide, the pressures in your heart, and the function of your heart, lungs, kidney, and brain. These monitors help the anesthesiologist make appropriate medical decisions during the surgery.
After surgery, the anesthesiologist will accompany you to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and give a full report of your operating room care to the ICU team. After about one hour, the ICU team will be ready to welcome your family and friends back to your room to visit you. At this point, you will still be sedated with a breathing tube and machine (ventilator). Your sedation will gradually be decreased, and once you are awake enough to do the work of breathing on your own, the breathing tube is removed. This usually happens within 6 hours of surgery, but is individualized to each patient. Your anesthesiologist will visit you after surgery, when you are more awake, to check on you and answer any additional questions you may have.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement/Implantation (TAVR/TAVI)
TAVR/TAVI is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to repair the aortic valve without requiring an open heart procedure with a large chest incision, or “sternotomy.” Typically, the TAVR or TAVI procedures can be done through very small incisions in the groin. Because the surgical procedure is of shorter duration and less involved than a standard open cardiac procedure, your anesthesia will be modified, and your recovery time will be shorter.
Whether or not you are having a TAVR or an open cardiac surgery will be determined well before the day of surgery by your cardiologist and surgeon.
If you are having a TAVR, you may have a general anesthesia or sedation for your anesthesia. This depends on a variety of factors including your cardiac and other medical history and your ability to lie flat on your back for a prolonged period of time. Your anesthesiologist will discuss with you if he/she thinks general anesthesia or sedation is the right type of anesthesia for you.
For more information regarding TAVRs: