Cardiac anesthesia is a subspecialty in the medical field of anesthesiology that deals with the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care of patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery and other cardiac related procedures. These include open heart surgeries such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and valve replacements, lung surgeries, other intrathoracic or chest surgeries, and structural cardiology procedures such as transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR), mitraclips, and watchmans.
They are experts in manipulation of patient cardiac and pulmonary physiology with the use of advanced pharmacology and critical care medicine. They also assist in the management of patients while on cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung) machine which most open heart surgeries require. They are also knowledgeable in placement and interpretation of invasive monitoring such as pulmonary artery or Swan-Ganz catheters and other advanced monitoring techniques such as transesophageal echocardiography (TEE).