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Cardiovascular Anesthesia

Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) has one of the top cardiac programs in the state of Colorado.  The Anesthesiologists of BVA are a big part of the success of this program.  Cardiac disease is a significant problem in the USA.  Many cardiac patients have other medical conditions such as COPD, diabetes, and hypertension.  These patients present a challenge, but our Cardiac Anesthesia team is highly qualified and prepared to provide optimal care during your surgery to maximize your recovery with a safe and successful outcome.

Prior to your cardiac surgery you will be evaluated by our outstanding team of cardiologists and other physicians to assure you are in the optimum condition to undergo your upcoming operation. This will most likely include a battery of tests and evaluations.  Your anesthesiologist will review all this information and then form an anesthetic plan that will be tailored for your individual needs.

On the day of your surgery you will have an opportunity to meet your anesthesiologist and discuss your upcoming anesthetic.  Your questions will be answered, generally you will be given a sedative to allay any anxiety, and you will be transported to the operating room.

A lot goes on here in the OR – essentially all of it occurs after you are sedated or asleep.  You will be attached to a host of monitoring devices and special lines will be placed including:

Arterial Line.  This is a line that is generally inserted in your wrist area where you feel your pulse.  This will allow your anesthesiologist to very closely watch your blood pressure on a beat to beat basis.  It will also allow blood samples to be drawn without the need for additional needle pokes.  This line may stay on place for a couple days after your surgery.

Pulmonary Artery Catheter.  This is a special line that is generally inserted in your right neck area into the internal jugular vein and passes directly through your heart and into the pulmonary artery.  This line provides extremely useful information regarding your heart function and fluid status both during your surgery and afterwards in the ICU.

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE).  This is a special ultrasound probe that may be inserted into your esophagus that will allow your anesthesiologist to visualize your heart as it is beating.  This gives information on how well your heart is contracting as well as how the valves in your heart are functioning.  This probe is placed after you are asleep and will be removed prior to awaking you at the end of your surgery.

You will be given a General Anesthetic for your surgery.  This will include a breathing tube that will be placed after you are asleep and assures proper ventilation during the surgery and is generally left in place after the surgery as you awake from the anesthesia in the ICU.  Throughout your surgery an anesthesiologist will be monitoring and taking care of you.  This is a challenging job and requires special skills of your anesthesia provider.  You can rest assured that you will receive the best anesthesia care possible at BCH.

At the conclusion of your operation you will be transported to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Generally you will continue to receive sedating medications to keep you asleep and your breathing will be assisted by a ventilator for several hours after your operation.  In the past, we would tend to keep patients asleep for many hours or even days, but today with modern anesthetic agents we often can reduce this time period significantly.

Your anesthesiologist is an important member of your cardiac care team, and we at BVA are committed to providing you with the best care possible.

Disclaimer

IMPORTANT - This website is intended to provide an introduction to information as it relates to the practice of anesthesiology and is not intended to be construed as medical or anesthesia advice for your or any other particular situation. For additional information please Click Here.