The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt is led by Andrew Shaw, MB BS, and includes eleven faculty members and ten nurse anesthetists. Three residents rotate through the service monthly. The fellowship program trains three fellows annually.
The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology works alongside Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute surgeons and cardiologists to perform approximately 1,200 adult cardiac procedures annually, including ventricular assist device (VAD) insertions and percutaneous aortic valve replacements. In addition to cardiac surgery, the division works with thoracic surgeons to complete approximately 600 general thoracic cases annually. Anesthesia services are also provided for interventional pulmonary procedures, electrophysiology procedures and other non-OR cardiothoracic and major vascular procedures, which together total approximately 2,500 cases yearly. A subset of the division’s faculty is also board-certified in intensive care medicine. These individuals, led by Dr. Chad Wagner, rotate through the cardiovascular intensive care unit.
The CT Division also provides services for invasive cardiology procedures such as placement of internal cardiac defibrillators, valvuloplasty, electrophysiology procedures, and septal ablations. This accounts for approximately 1,000 cases per year. The faculty demonstrates expertise with invasive physiologic monitoring, transesophageal echocardiography, and bypass management. Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is an integral part of the clinical practice. The program was established in 1996 and has since become the standard in adult cardiac patients. TEE is now performed on nearly 100 percent of all adult cardiac patients. State-of-the-art 3-D imaging systems are readily available. All studies are performed and interpreted by the cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, and cases are digitally archived.
The cardiothoracic anesthesiology faculty conduct research in vascular system function, cardiopulmonary conditioning, renal failure, and perioperative inflammatory response. Faculty members have grant support from the AHA and NIH. In Sept 2009 and May 2010, the division hosted workshops in perioperative transesophageal echocardiography and in pacemaker management, which drew anesthesiology residents, fellows, faculty and private practitioners from throughout the region. It is hoped that these will become annual events.