Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

The Cardiac Center has a special anesthesia team dedicated to the care of children with heart conditions. The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology is one of the few programs in the United States that provides anesthesia services exclusively to pediatric patients with heart disease and defects, who may react differently to anesthesia and require specialized care. The cardiothoracic anesthesiology team provides:

  • Comprehensive anesthesia services in the cardiac operating rooms, catheterization laboratories and other Cardiac Center settings.
  • Pain management for cardiac patients.
  • Sedation during echocardiography for infants and small or very active children to help get a clearer “echo” image.
  • Anesthesia and pain management for Cardiac Center patients during non-cardiac procedures. For example, if your child were to need to have her appendix removed or ear tubes placed years after cardiac surgery, our pediatric cardiac anesthesia team would be there.
  • Offsite repairs for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Members of CHOP's surgical and anesthesia teams travel to hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to perform PDA ligations so families can avoid the risks of transporting fragile newborns to the Hospital.

About our team

Each year, the cardiothoracic anesthesiology team provides anesthesia and pain management during more than 3,000 surgeries and other procedures for infants, children and adolescents. The team includes board-certified pediatric cardiothoracic anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners and anesthesia technicians.

Our team also includes six Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). These advanced practice nurses are trained and certified to administer anesthesia during surgical and non-surgical procedures, including MRI, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine and more. At The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, CRNAs work in collaboration with the entire cardiothoracic anesthesiology team, adding to the team's experience and providing additional assistance before, during and after cardiac procedures.

The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology also manages the largest training program in the world for pediatric anesthesiologists and critical care specialists and has trained more than 200 physicians.

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