UCT – Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine (Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia)

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UCT – Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine (Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia)

UCT – Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine (Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia)

The UCT Department of Anaesthesia at Groote Schuur Hospital and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital provides a 24-hour dedicated anesthesia service to the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Although every medical student knows that Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital, Professor Ozinski was the first anesthetist to anesthetize a patient for a heart transplant.

They are proud to build on this unique foundation and today we provide an anesthetic service for 300 adult cardiac and 300 pediatric cardiac cases per year. Surgery includes complex pediatric cases, grown-up congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, ischaemic heart disease, degenerative heart disease, minimally invasive repair and replacement of heart valves, trans-aortic valve replacements, and transapical valve replacements (called TAVI’S) and heart transplants, in fact, the entire spectrum of cardiac surgery.

Exiting opportunities also exist for research into the development of less invasive procedures – a field that is of great relevance to the Third World. They also work with cardiologists in the field of electrophysiology, pacemaker insertion, and extraction. The head of the department is a world authority on cardiac anesthesia and we have a dedicated team of adult and pediatric anesthetists who are skilled not only in cardiac anesthesia but also in peri-operative echocardiography.
The anesthetic department runs three “hands-on” trans-oesophageal echocardiography courses a year, an annual thoracic “hands-on course” as well as multiple “Point of Care”(focused assessed trans-thoracic echocardiography, or “FATE” courses) every year.

We have a dedicated team who co-ordinate these courses. Within the department, there is free access to a Heartworks Simulator as well as an extensive library and a database of video clips of interesting cases. In addition, there are weekly tutorials addressing most aspects of cardiothoracic anesthesia as well as echocardiography ward rounds that everyone is welcome to attend. Trainees in our department spend three months in cardiothoracic anesthesia and are also exposed to major vascular surgery and many aspects of echocardiography. This is a challenging rotation, but all trainees enjoy it despite the long hours and difficult work.

Chronic Pain Management Clinic

A group of medical health professionals, including anesthetists, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists, work together in the Chronic Pain Management Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital to provide comprehensive chronic pain assessments, multi-modal treatment, and recommendations.

Our mission is to work with patients to help them regain their highest level of usefulness through cost-effective and thorough therapy.

Our approach includes a designed outpatient, group-based Chronic Pain Management approach, which is one of its special features. Patients will take an active role in their own care thanks to this initiative. Our treatment strategy will include patient education about diagnosis, treatment, and self-management techniques.


Acute Pain Service

Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia

Chronic Pain Management Clinic

Critical Care

Paediatric Anaesthesia

General Enquiries / Reception
+27 (0)21 404 5001 / 3
+27 (0)21 406 6143
+27 (0)21 406 6233

+27 (0)21 406 6589

Groote Schuur Hospital exchange
+27 (0)21 404 9111



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