Heart Institute Encyclopedia

Anesthesia Before Heart Surgery

Look up a term in The Heart Center glossary.The anesthesiologist is the physician responsible for the administration of drugs that will cause a patient to be unaware, or "asleep," during surgery.

The anesthesiologist also provides a secure airway, controls breathing, places various lines used to closely monitor your child during surgery, and administers the fluids and other drugs necessary to get the patient safely through the operation.  

Anesthesiology is a big responsibility, and we recognize no two patients are the same. Therefore, it is important that an anesthesia team member meet with each family before surgery to discuss a patient's health history, examine the patient and review laboratory tests so we can plan an appropriate anesthetic. At that time, the anesthesia team member can explain what will be done on the first day of surgery and what types of anesthetic drugs will be used.

For surgical patients, most visits will occur in the Same Day Surgery area on the day before surgery. This will be a very busy day. You will meet with a cardiologist, a nurse practitioner and an anesthesia team member.

Your child will also have a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), blood tests and possibly an echocardiogram if needed.

For patients undergoing cardiac catheterization or transesophageal echocardiograms (TEE), most visits will occur on the day of the procedure.

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Last Updated: 01/2013