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Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia

About Us:

A comprehensive 12-month specialized training experience in the perioperative care of patients undergoing cardiac, thoracic, advanced vascular, and transplantation surgery. UTSW fellows will be taking care of high-risk and complex patient populations at a variety of clinical settings including the modern William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas Children’s Medical Center, and the North Dallas Veterans Affairs Hospital. As a major transplant center in North Texas, our fellows will have experience in the management of Heart/Lung Transplantation, implantation of extracorporeal devices (LVAD), and new minimally invasive procedures such as TAVR. 

Our Mission

To provide a comprehensive 1-year experience in the field of cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesia to prepare our trainees in all major aspects of perioperative care of our complex cardiovascular and thoracic surgical population.

Goals and Objectives

Fellows in our Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology training program will: 

  • Develop expertise in advanced cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology 
  • Understand the fundamentals of cardiopulmonary bypass and extracorporeal circulation 
  • Learn the perioperative care of management of the cardiac surgical patient Manage patients supported on extracorporeal mechanical devices (LVAD, ECMO, Impella) 
  • Provide perioperative care of adult patients for heart and lung transplantation 
  • Become familiarized with Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE) 
  • Train in minimally invasive cardiac and vascular procedures (TEVAR, TAVR) 
  • Pursue academic or scholarly activity towards journal publication or national presentation 
  • Supervise the training of CA-2 and CA-3 residents in cardiac anesthesia 
  • Develop expertise in Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) with the intent to obtain Certification in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography (PTEeXAM) 

Participating Clinical Sites 

  • UTSW William P. Clements, Jr. University Hospital 
  • Baylor University Medical Center 
  • Children’s Medical Center Dallas 
  • Parkland Hospital System 
  • Dallas VA Medical Center 

Our People:

Leadership rosters

Ravi Joshi, M.D.

Program Director

Marco Aguirre, M.D.

Associate Program Director

Alycia Wanat-Hawthorne, M.D.

Associate Professor

Sreekanth Cheruku, M.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor

Amanda Fox, M.D., M.P.H.

Vice Chair of Research, and Professor


Roster of current fellows:

Saira Nisar, MBBS

Zubin Patel, M.D.

Derek Starkey, D.O.


Clinical Site Rotations 

William P. Clements, Jr. University Hospital (CUH) is the primary training site for our fellows, replete with 3 Cardiac operating rooms, 2 Thoracic operating rooms and 2 fully functional Hybrid suites. With a high-risk and complex patient population, fellows training at CUH will be exposed to adult cardiac surgery cases including CABG and valve replacement, aortic surgery with DHCA, heart/lung transplantation, and mechanical circulatory device implantation. Fellows will also experience cases involving minimally invasive cardiac surgery, TAVR, TEVARs, and robotic thoracic surgery. Fellows should expect to perform their own cases and supervise residents. 

Baylor University Medical Center - Clinical training in adult cardiac surgery cases including valve and CABG procedures. Experience in heart transplantation is also possible. Fellows will perform their own cases. 
Children’s Medical Center Dallas (Elective) - This site offers clinical experience in pediatric cardiac surgery. Fellows may work with the anesthesiology team in the perioperative care of patients with complex congenital lesions. 
Parkland Hospital System - Spend elective time with cardiology in the echocardiography lab. 
Dallas VA Medical Center - One of the nation’s largest VA Hospitals on an 85-acre campus acts as the secondary training site for our fellows. Clinical training involves the perioperative care of adult cardiac surgery in our veteran population. Elective time in the cardiology echocardiography lab is also possible. 

Echocardiography Experience

  • 90% of cardiac cases have TEE exams performed
  • Philips Healthcare Epic 3DTEE machines in all cardiac rooms 
  • Epiaortic ultrasound performed routinely 
  • Robotic Thoracic Surgery 
  • Coronary Sinus Catheter and Pulmonary Vent Placement (Mini-thoracotomy) 
  • Transvenous Pacing Catheter placement 
  • Anesthesia for Transcutaneous Aortic Valvular Replacement (TAVR) 
  • Strain Analysis and Myocardial Mechanic Capabilities 
  • Cerebral oximetry (INVOS 5100) 
  • FloTrac and Clear Site (continuous CO, systolic pressure variability) 
  • Intrathecal pressure monitoring and CSF drainage (“spinal drains”) 
  • ROTEM analysis for hemostasis 


  • Mentored projects and funding for ALL poster presentations 
  • Outcomes-based quality improvement and clinical research 
  • Co-Participants in institutional/national STS database 
  • Active projects include SCAF FOCUS/CSTS initiative 
  • TRICS-III trial center for blood conservation research 
  • RECESS trial center (Steiner, et al., NEJM 2015) 
  • APART: Pilot Design for pre-operative anemia management 
  • Enhanced Communication for Handovers from the OR (ECHO) 


Weekly conferences (TEE didactics, Topics in CT anesthesiology, case conference, journal club)