Cardiothoracic Anesthesia

During the cardio thoracic month the residents will be assigned to the heart room administer anesthesia to patients undergoing a variety of cardiac surgeries including valvular repairs and replacements, aortic repairs and coronary artery bypass grafts. Our patients are sick and their pathophysiology is complex and most often they not only have cardiac disease but multiple other organ dysfunctions. It is always a one-on-one supervision where the resident will learn how to place arterial lines, central lines and pulmonary artery catheters, interpret frequent arterial blood gas results and perform and interpret transesophageal (TEE) images.

In addition to the open heart cases we perform multiple transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVARs), balloon valvuloplasties and left atrial appendage occlusion devices (watchman procedure) weekly in the hybrid OR. We also participate in laser lead extractions in the hybrid OR for removal of infected or broken defibrillator and pacemaker leads which require a general anesthetic with invasive monitors including placement and interpretation of TEE.

We have a very active electrophysiology program and there are ample opportunities to take care of patients undergoing ablation procedures for supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias in the cath lab. We also participate in laser lead extractions.

Thoracic cases involve wedge resections, lobectomies, pneumonectomies which are either prerfomed open, thoracoscopic or robotic. During these cases the resident will learn placement and management of one lung ventilation and invasive monitoring.

Major vascular cases include carotid endarterectomies, major aortic surgery (AAA) and all different kind of vascular bypass surgeries.

In addition to OR teaching once a week lectures cover many topics including invasive monitoring, hemodynamic management, cardiopulmonary bypass, coagulopathy, inotropes, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, balloon pumps, ventricular assist devices, and much more.

Because TEE is an integral part of our cardiac practice the resident gets to use the TEE simulator as well to have more hands on practice.

A 2 week TEE course is also offered that includes an online course with a didactic program. That echo resident will perform all TEEs in the OR, spend time with the cardiologist in the echo lab doing and reading TEEs and practice with the TEE simulator.

To complement of cardiac, thoracic and vascular experience our residents will spend 2 months a Loyola University. They will spend one month in the cardiac ICU and one month in the open heart room.

Our cardiac anesthesia attendings are fellowship trained from Northwestern University, Emory and University of Maryland and have passed the advanced TEE exam.

Cardiac Anesthesia Attendings

Katharina Beckmann
Associate Professor, Division Chief  Cardiac Anesthesia

Ulana Leskiw
Associate Professor

Anya Raskin
Assistant Professor

Nikki Wilkinson
Assistant Professor