Cardiothoracic Anesthesia

The division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia in the UNM Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine provides services to a continuously growing number of patients with cardiothoracic and cardiovascular disease. It is formed by ten anesthesiologists specializing in the perioperative care of patient coming for a broad variety of heart, thoracic, and vascular surgery. Procedures performed at UNMH include CABG and off-pump CABG, valvular and minimally-invasive valvular surgery, aortic surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass and DHCA, as well as thoracic, esophageal and major vascular surgery. The division is equipped with the newest monitoring and anesthesia systems to provide optimal intraoperative care for these complex surgeries. The initial postoperative care is performed in a specialized cardiothoracic-ICU under the leadership of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care.

As part of the University of New Mexico Anesthesia residency program, the division contributes significantly to the research and educational mission of the institution. For residents, the cardiothoracic/cardiovascular rotation offers an exciting, challenging, and rewarding experience during their anesthesiology training. The focus lies on perioperative evaluation and management of patients with cardiothoracic and cardiovascular disease, and learning objectives include cardiothoracic physiology and pathophysiology, invasive monitoring, hemodynamic optimization, cardiovascular pharmacology, management of cardiopulmonary bypass, and total circulatory arrest. Residents will become proficient in the placement of arterial lines, central venous and pulmonary artery catheters, double lumen endotracheal tubes, bronchial blockers, and thoracic epidurals. In addition, they receive hands-on trans esophageal echocardiography training in the OR and on the TEE simulator, which integrates into their comprehensive echocardiography curriculum throughout their entire residency training.

Residents rotate through the mandatory CT/CV block in their CA2 year, which consists of two months of CT anesthesia at the UNM main hospital and the VA, followed by one month in the CTICU at UNMH. In addition, they are offered the option of deepening their experience by choosing a CT/CC advanced track in their CA3 year, and by completing an external rotation at the cardiovascular center at UC San Diego.

The didactic program throughout the CT block is offered by our CT-anesthesia faculty in the form of one-on-one clinical teaching, lectures following rotational objectives, provided reading material, bi-monthly echo lectures, and TEE simulator sessions.